Writer: Rojana Manowalailao, ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood Systems
Over 400 students and technicians from three provinces in the Mekong Delta recently participated in the Information Days of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) sub project under Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) to tackle issues of inappropriate use of chemicals in the country. The participants, whose 30 per cent of them are females, come from Can Tho University, Dong Thap University and Kien Giang Agriculture Colleges, where the IPM/BRIA project are being implemented.
The objectives were for the young generation to learn about the concept of IPM, which was a new ecological preservation and responsible chemical use approach to Vietnamese education institutions in Hau Giang, Kien Giang and Dong Thap provinces.
Five IPM awareness raising videos, action threshold level poster for main pests in paddy rice field (poster shows the number of pests or level of pest damage before required action), IPM booklet as well as a live TV show programme by Vietnamese media were also introduced to the students. The printed materials including the 900 posters and 800 booklets were also delivered to farmers, government technical staffs who had training with the IPM project., government officials at the sub plant protection department of other provinces as well as to the universities.
For the results of the meetings at educational institutions, in cooperation with the local project partners and the agricultural institutions in the three provinces the four meetings with a total number of 384 students, 35 per cent female, have been carried through. The IPM training materials, consist of 800 IPM booklets, 900 IPM action threshold level posters, have been handed over and presented to the participants by the government technical staffs who have been trained by IPM project.
Co-Funded by Croplife International, the project put an emphasis on an awareness raising activities to widen IPM knowledge to different stakeholders including the young agriculture students and the community of the project’s sites.
“Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has played a crucial role in managing the Brown Plant Hopper outbreak in the project site of Hau Giang province in this current agricultural season,” said Director of Sub Crop production and Plant Protection Department of Hau Giang Province, Mr. Tran Ngoc The said at opening of first BRIA/IPM Project Information Day at Can Tho University on November 2016.
In the line of BRIA-IPM project awareness activities , from November 2016 to April 2017, four Project Information Days had been organized at the four departments of three agriculture universities and college in Vietnam. At least 380 agriculture students and 20 technicians participated in these events.
Staffs at the Southern Regional Plant Protection Center and Sub Crop Production and Plant Protection Department of the three Provinces were key presenters on the Information Days in transferring the IPM project knowledge and activities to the students.
“Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of paddy rice cultivation is utmost important farming techniques in the Mekong Delta,” Ms Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Deputy Director of Sub Crop Production and Plant Protection Department, Hau Giang Province said at the opening of the second Project Information Day at Can Tho University on 13 March 2017.
“Moreover, IPM can help farmers to produce rice with less cost and get more profits as well as makes sustainable paddy rice production and food safety,” she said.
The objective of the IPM/BRIA project is to provide a 12-week IPM training course to improve sustainable agriculture field practice for farmer participants and transfer IPM knowledge to other farmers who do not sit at the training classes. It also provides an eight-week course to chemical retailers of the IPM method to be able to advise farmers to make an appropriate decision of the use of chemicals in agriculture.
The current IPM activities implemented by GIZ consist of training activities, updating the IPM manuals for training technical staffs and introducing new IPM knowledge to agriculture students under the sustainable rice cultivation responsibility in the Mekong Delta.
“The excerpt messages of IPM booklets can help students learn the knowledge of new IPM concepts in responsible chemical use as well as pesticide resistant management, methodology and field experiences. The IPM training manuals is also the good document for teaching and references as well, said Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, specialist in Pathologist and Pest Management in Rice, Can Tho University.
The Association Professor also expressed her thanks to the IPM project, that 600 IPM booklets and three hard copies of IPM manuals were provided to students and teachers.
Sub Crop Production and Plant Protection Dong Thap, sub division of Dong Thap Agriculture and Rural Development Department also adopted IPM training methodology and training manuals as well as expanding the IPM programme to the large-scale rice fields.
“The IPM/BRIA training does not only provide useful knowledge to the individual farmers but also bring more benefits to the cooperatives and large-scale rice fields. In Spring season from October 2016 to March 2017, the key achievement of IPM training in these cooperatives was that the quality of paddy rice such as Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) have been matched to the requirements of Food Processing Companies, thanks to the IPM training, farmers got the premium price of good quality paddy rice after harvested,” Mr Tran Thanh Tam, Head of Technology Division, Dong Thap’s Sub Crop Production and Plant Protection Department said at the IPM Project Information Day in Dong Thap University on 15 March 2017.
|Date||Institutions||No. of students||No. of female|
|16. Nov 16||Department of Rural Development, Can Tho University.||64||30|
|13. Mar 17||Department of Plant Protection, Can Tho University.||139||44|
|15. Mar 17||Dong Thap University, Department of Agriculture||130||50|
|27. Mar 17||Kien Giang Agriculture College||54||18|
For further IPM awareness raising activities, the project is carrying on activities with another group of famers in Sustainable Rice Platform Demonstration under the cooperation with Loc Troi JSC using IPM booklets, VDOs and posters. In addition, IPM booklets and Action threshold levels as well as the five IPM image videos are continuously used for 22 new farmer groups and 31 IPM farmer clubs in Summer Season from April to September 2017. These five image videos have been published on the website of Plant Protection Department and partners and broadcast in the local TV channels in 2017.
The IPM project will continue the training to Mekong Delta’s farmers, capacity building for government technical staffs and remain close cooperation with Plant Protection Department and local institutions.