IMPROVING FARMERS' DISEASE MANAGEMENT DECISIONS THROUIGH PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH AND TRAINING
R NELSON1, M FREDRIX2, G THIELE3 and C MUNDT4
1International Potato Center, Peru; 2FAO Intercountry Programme on Rice IPM; 3PROINPA, Bolivia; 4Oregon State University, USA
Background and objectives
Results and conclusions
Phase I of the programme (1994-96) involved development, testing and improvement of the curriculum based on the experience of the farmers and trainers in central Vietnam. Phase II, currently in progress, involves expansion of participation, further refinement of the curriculum, and selection of new resistant varieties. Between late 1994 and mid-1997, the programme expanded dramatically, to involve >2000 farmers in north, central and southern Vietnam. Based on their observations through the FFS, farmers reduced seeding and nitrogen rates. Farmers' groups and the National Institute for Plant Protection conducted parallel, multi-year tests of the varieties introduced through the FFS, and two blast-resistant varieties were released. Phase III will involve the improvement and diversification of rice varieties in Vietnam.
In 1997, a similar effort was undertaken to address the problem of potato late blight (LB). The season-long FFS curriculum again involves learning activities and field experiments. Because the biology of the two pathosystems is quite different, little of the rice blast curriculum could be used as a basis for the LB curriculum. The current version of the curriculum includes field experiments on variety-by-fungicide interactions; humid-chamber experiments to understand pathogen biology and aetiology, and pathogen-variety-fungicide interactions; and small field experiments designed by farmers to test their own hypotheses. The results of the first pilot effort in Cajamarca, Peru, will be presented.