My innovation idea on sustainable crop protection is titled “Developing a holistic crop protection management approach: A case study of Tomato in Arusha, Tanzania”. I propose a holistic crop protection approach whereby pest scouting is key and of paramount important instead of the traditional practice where farmers spray pesticides without proper identification of the pest to be sprayed. Tomato is selected because, apart from being the most important vegetable crop for income and nutritional values, it is the most affected vegetable crop by pests and hence over sprayed vegetable crop in Tanzania.
This will be carried out by forming a stakeholders’ platform, in the pilot study area, of the key stakeholders in the crop protection chain. I will identify specific activities each one is dealing with and how such activities could add or remove the value of sustainable tomato protection. Thereafter, strategies that promote activities along the value chain will be identified and solutions implemented to improve sustainable tomato protection.
The holistic approach is realistic and sustainable because it will address the real challenge of tomato pests (diseases, insects, weeds, nematodes etc.) and that of poor pesticide handling in tomato production. The sustainability of farmer’s crops is affected by not identifying responsible pests and hence incorrect use of pesticide products. The impacts of which may affect not only the pests, but also biodiversity, humans and the environment. Through proper identification the right pest will be identified and correct pesticides will be used on the targeted area, thus promoting sustainable crop protection. The project approach will be implemented by the stakeholders in the value chain and so will promote its sustainability.
It is anticipated that by practicing good crop protection practices the health of key stakeholders and community in general will be improved. There will be improved quality of crops from better management of the pests and hence more monetary value to the farmers and consumers. Pesticides dealers will as well gain by selling the correct pesticides thus increasing reliability and hence more customers. The positive environmental impact will be great as it will be friendlier to the environment.
I have not done anything yet apart from the field observation and reports from different stakeholders on the poor handling of pesticides products and complaints that pests are increasingly becoming resistance to pesticides. Key stakeholders and beneficiaries for my idea are tomato farmers, retailers/wholesalers, consumers, pesticide dealers.
The proposed schedule of activities, participants and proposed outcomes to form the tomato protection platform in Arusha Tanzania
Positive socio-economic impacts: There will be increased knowledge on the sustainable management of crop pests by scouting and proper use of pesticide products. This will create employment opportunities to those who have specialized in crop protection to lead the scouting and implementation of pest management programs. The poverty level can be reduced through the improved production of quality crops, which will fetch premium market prices. I am motivated to save the lives of farmers and consumers by promoting safe tomato production and consumption. The gains for me and my community and/or society will be quality tomatoes and an eco- friendly environment.
Agatha Amnaay Aloyce, Tanzania