Community IPM in Asia

The misuse of pesticides is harmful to human health and is damaging to the environment. Millions of people are poisoned by pesticides every year, and pest problems are often made worse when the balance between beneficial and harmful insects is disturbed by applying toxic chemicals.

In the last two decades Asian  Governments, NGOs and international agencies have been working together to organise  training which helps farmers to learn about the ecology of their fields and, as a result, enables them to make and implement decisions which are safe, productive and sustainable. index_1

This ecological approach to plant protection is called Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. Not only does it involve minimising the use of pesticides, it also involves a wide range of other practices aimed at growing a healthy crop.

The training approach which has been used to help rural people learn about IPM is called the Farmers Field School (FFS). This entails weekly meetings by a group of farmers. Instead of listening to lectures or watching demonstrations, these farmers observe, record and discuss what is happening in their own fields from the time of planting to the time of harvest. This discovery-learning process generates a deep understanding of ecological concepts and their practical application. Since 1990 more than two million farmers have graduated from FFS.

In recent years, IPM farmers have started organising themselves in order to carry out field experiments, train other farmers, and interact more effectively with government agencies. These developments have given rise to a new term, Community IPM.

What you can find at this site

This website is a source of information about Community IPM in Asia. The site is divided into the following major sections:

Information about recent or forthcoming events
Concepts and Cases:
Includes an account of how Community IPM developed in Asia, and a description of the Farmer Field School process.
Member Countries:
Details of IPM training activities in 12 countries in South and Southeast Asia, and how to make contact with key IPM experts.
Spider Web Newsletter:
An on-line version of an IPM newsletter, with information about government and NGO training programmes
Documents to Download:
A library of training materials, case studies and scientific papers relating to IPM.
Internet Links:
Including sites on sustainable agriculture, pesticides and health, IPM Training Partners and Programme Donors. 
Toxic Trail:
A complete sub-web containing information relating to the BBC documentary about pesticides and IPM in South-East Asia.