May 5, 2011
(KPL) The Lao National Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme will organise trainings on pesticide risk reduction in Vientiane Capital, Sayabouly, Xieng Khouang and Vientiane provinces. The training courses will be held from early May to July 2011, aiming to fortify farmers field school (or a season-long farmers field school on integrated pest management and pesticide risk reduction) for farmers and farmer workers in four districts of Vientiane Capital namely Sikhottabong, Nasaithong, Saithany and Pakgnum.
This programme is implemented by the Plant Protection Centre under guidance of the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) through the FAO Regional Vegetable IPM Programme with technical assistance from FAO and financial assistance from the Swedish Chemical Agency KemI.
The overall objective is to educate farmers and farm workers on the negative effects of pesticides on health and the environment and how to grow healthy crop without using chemical pesticides unless necessary.
The trainings on pesticide risk reduction for farmers and farm workers will be organizing in 50 villages in Sayabouly, Xieng Khouang, Vientiane Capital and Vientiane Province. These villages were chosen for their high use of pesticides. The trainings will last 3 days. Baseline surveys will be conducted in each village before the trainings. More than 1,600 farmers (including 503 women) are expected to participate in these trainings.
The objective of the fortified farmers field school is to educate farmers and farm workers on crop production and protection techniques using integrated pest management methods, and also pesticide risk reduction. More than 110 farmers (including 40 women) are expected to participate.
At the end of the 3 day pesticide risk reduction farmer trainings and fortified farmers field school, the farmers and farm workers along with representatives from local authorities concerned (e.g. village authorities, public health office, environment sector, etc.) will jointly formulate a community action plan on pesticide risk reduction for each village. Three to five most risky behaviours will be selected, prioritized and used for formulation of an action plan. Village agreement and committee for monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the action plan at the village level, district level and provincial level will be formed. Plans for monitoring and evaluation of the action plans at each level will also be formulated.
Expected outputs include that the farmers and farm workers who participated in the training could reduce risks from pesticide use or avoid using them unless necessary, that they learned how to protect themselves and their family members especially their vulnerable children from pesticide exposure when necessary to handle, and how to store and dispose pesticides correctly. Therefore, these trainings will help reducing the use of pesticides and contribute to improve farmers’ health and living condition of the communities without damaging ecosystem and the environment.