When it comes to learning about Integrated Pest Management (IPM), participatory training has been a proven success in encouraging farmers to introduce innovative and sustainable pest control strategies, say ENDURE researchers.
And to shed light on how successful participatory training can be conducted, researchers from ENDURE’s Hungarian partner, Szent István University, have produced a four-page leaflet outlining the principles, methods and experiences gained during an extensive IPM development programme they coordinated in Central and Eastern Europe.
Participatory training: principles, methods and experiences draws on lessons learned during the IPM for Western Corn Rootworm (WCR) project, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation programme designed to protect maize production from losses caused by WCR through developing and implementing IPM strategies.
The authors, Judit Papp Komáromi, Jozsef Kiss and Zoltan Pálinkás, stress that participatory IPM training does not simply provide information for farmers, but develops the capacity and knowledge of both farmers and the farming community. The principles of participatory training can also be used for training agricultural advisers and students.
The authors identify the reasons why participatory training is a promising option, and examine the main characteristics of successful participatory training. They explore the reasons why it needs to be both season-long and conducted in the field, and how this can result in the successful adoption of an IPM approach by farmers.
They stress the importance of making all activities farmer-centred and ensuing farmers take ownership of the activities, with learning based on discovery and doing.
This is the second leaflet in the Training in Integrated Pest Management series. The first, Using experience groups to share knowledge and reduce pesticide use , was written by Rolf Thostrup Poulsen and Poul Henning Petersen from the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service (DAAS) and draws on Denmark’s longstanding use of experience groups, which were first developed in the early 1980s and later played an important part in helping Danish farmers meet government targets to reduce pesticide use while remaining profitable.
Researchers at Szent István University are now working on a third guide, which takes an in-depth look at how participatory training courses can be structured, including aspects such as problem analysis and curriculum development.
To download the Training in Integrated Pest Management guides:
For more information on training contact the ENDURE training representative in your country, or email ENDURE.
If you found this article interesting, you may want to consult the following: