SAYING NO TO PESTICIDES
Integrated pest management (IPM), which evolved in the 1970s is a concept that unifies different pest management techniques. The goal of IPM is to achieve economic crop production in an eco-friendly manner. The practice of IPM requires sensitive intervention and substantial collaboration between farmers, extension personnel and plant protection professionals. Dr Madhu Subramanian, an entomologist with Kerala Agricultural University, shares his experience in promoting IPM in paddy in Kerala.
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Thanks for sharing Saying No To Pesticides. My observations are as follows 1. IPM is a time tested technology that unifies different pest management techniques in eco- friendly manner. Its application by the scientists on a research farm or on experimental farm is quite effective as good number of variables would be under control and could be manoeuvred. 2. However, at the field level the application of IPM suffers from serious limitations such as the knowledge of farmers, his ability to combine the techniques, surveillance support, the competency of field extension functionaries to guide the process in the field, etc. 3. Even the arrangements for the IPM training for the farmers and for the field functionaries need to be strengthened. Good amount of support is required for development of structured modules and information back up through print and electronic media the affected areas. The ICAR IPM Centre and the DAC Plant Heath Management Institute could play an important role in developing capacities of state and district level training centres and in turn the farmers. 4. The best possible field demonstration and skill imparting mechanism would be Farmers Field Schools (FFS) where IPM could be taken as one of the technologies for a selected crop and different pest management techniques could be shared in such a Field Schools. There again comes the role of lead farmer. 5.The university scientists and the KVK SMS would need to provide PM technology back up to the block level formations of the department of agriculture. For example in Kerala, I have seen that the Krishi Bhavans at Panchayat levels need a solid back up of the university scientists and of SMS of KVKs in promoting such complex technologies. This linkage is very weak all across the states. May be we could learn from the experience abroad. Extension services have to be thoroughly re-oriented to handle this through Farmer Groups. 6.We must keep these in view and have to have a large number of pilots may be jointly taken up by the KVKs and ATMAs through FFSs. Empowered FFSs would show the bigger foot prints on the ground in targeted crops,I believe. I am sharing this with Dr.Ragunathan ,former PP Adviser to GOI, an authority on the subject and request his considered comments.
This was really a good report to read. I always wonder, why the Extension Professionals were not highlighted when there is a success. The entire credit for success in agriculture is always given to farmers, scientists and the policy makers. This is one of the reports where the Extension Officer is sharing the credit. It gave a good feeling. It would be still better if the Extension Methods were documented. This would have been learning for other Extension Professionals.