CropLife International and GIZ recently agreed on carrying through a training programme for farmers and pesticide retailers called “Promotion of Integrated Pest Management to address plant hopper outbreaks in Rice”. ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN SAS) is implementing this project in the context of the Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) together with Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department (PPD), the Southern Regional Plant Protection Center (SRPPC), and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in three provinces.
At least 15,000 farmers and 300 pesticide retailers will be trained in agro-ecological practices and the effective use and safe application of pesticides.
In Vietnam, farmers are rarely applying natural, mechanical and biological control methods, and rely heavily on the use of chemical pesticides which results in high productions costs due to unnecessary expenses and unsafe practices. For developing new training modules for farmers and retailers, ASEAN SAS cooperates with the Can Tho University and the Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute (CLLRI). The training modules address the protection of natural enemies of pests, the accurate diagnosis of problems, definition of action thresholds and consequent decision making on the choice of appropriate products that are registered for control of plant-hoppers (and/or other rice pests), in order to avoid problems of resistance and resurgence.
In September 2015, a “Project Partners Meeting” was held at the SRPPC in Tien Giang province, together with the provincial representatives of PPD and DARD of three provinces involved in the project. Keith Jones, Stewardship Director of Croplife International, and Raghavan Sampathkumar, Stewardship Director of Croplife Asia, assisted at this meeting. Provincial partners showed their commitment by announcing financial contributions to the project. In this regard, the impact of the project would be multiplied and the contents of the training would become part of the working agenda of the partner institutions.
In the beginning of October this year, the first phase of the project will start with the Training of Trainers. Thirty-nine staff from the partner institutions in the three provinces have been selected to get trained and afterwards assuming the function of Master trainers, who will train both groups of smallholder farmers and retailers during the whole project period. The project will be accompanied by an awareness campaign at community, districts and provincial levels, involving schools and agricultural colleges as well.