Teaching and educating farmers, rural people and the public on Integrated Pest Management

My project idea for the IUPAC 2019 Next Generation Programme is “Teaching and educating farmers, rural people and the general public on how to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pest and disease which can lead to sustainable crop protection”.

Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M) is a sustainable approach to managing pests combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimize economic health and environmental risks. Integrated Pest Management emphasize the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural control mechanism. This means all practices undertaken in growing of a crop should lead to good plants health at all stages in the life of the plant. Hence all cultural practices, the environment, soil climate, etc. in which the crop and pests and their natural enemies are interacting should be manipulated such that a healthy crop can be produced.

Research done by PPRSD/MOFA (Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Department/Ministry of Food and Agriculture) in Ghana in May 2007 indicated the problems associated with the use of insecticide and chemical continuous for pest and disease control by farmers and they suggested the need of using IPM strategies. Some of the problems associated with the overuse of insecticide and chemicals are as follows:

  • Development of resistance and tolerance by certain insects to insecticides used against them. Beginning with the resistance of housefly to DDT, the problem has continued to increase, and today about 250 species have shown resistance to more than one group of insecticides.
  • After a few years of such use of insecticide, there arose the problem of residues remaining in food and feed crops, in the soil and in animals.
  • They also resulted in increased costs since the less persistent insecticide are generally higher priced and more applications are required.

The benefits of integrated pest management are:

  • More efficient use of inputs
  • Economic benefit to growers from reduction in pesticide use
  • Improves crop quality and yield
  • Chemicals are only used when necessary
Various IPM strategies used to tech farmers to control pest and disease

Being an agriculture extension officer, I will teach farmers IPM strategies in their operational areas through the various Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs). Teaching farmers through their FBOs will help me to get more farmers to participate in the training program. I will teach them the various strategies in IPM for controlling pests and disease using the cultural control method (which includes: crop rotation, cropping pattern, irrigation, soil tillage, plant nutrient management, etc.); the physical control method (which includes: trapping, hand picking, construction of barriers, hot water treatment etc.); the biological control method (which includes: teaching them how to identify naturally occurring beneficial insect which can help to control insect that cause damage to crops, example lady bird insect”), and the chemical control method (which includes nematicide, herbicide, rodenticide, etc.). Teaching them all these techniques and strategies will help them to adopt the use of IPM for pest and disease control which leads to sustainable crop protection instead of overuse of pesticide and chemicals.

The beneficiaries and stakeholders of my project idea are farmers, rural people and the general public. I am passionate about this project because our farmers only get small profits after all the toil they put into production. The amount of money they use for purchasing insecticide and chemicals is very high so teaching them this idea will help them in many ways. My community will benefit from this project because it will give them knowledge and skills on how to use IPM for controlling pests and disease in crop production and help them to protect their farm produce from overuse of insecticide and chemicals in pest and disease control. It can create employment opportunities for some of them. 

I would be very happy if I’m selected because this opportunity will help me to learn new knowledge and skills from agriculture expert. It will also create employment opportunities for me.

Adu Stephen Sackey, Ghana

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