Better Rice Initiative Asia – Promotion of Integrated Pest Management in Thailand
Title: Better Rice Initiative Asia: Promotion of Integrated Pest Management in Thailand
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded: CropLife International
Lead executing agency: Rice Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021
Approximately 26 per cent of the overall Thai population is engaged in farming. Many farmers, and especially small-scale famers, lack knowledge on sustainable rice farming practices. As a result, they often apply too much fertiliser, unnecessary amounts of pesticides, purchase inputs of questionable quality and use overly high seed rates. The production costs are therefore higher and the net income decreases.
Additionally, one of several threats faced by Thai rice farmers is losses in rice production due to pests. In Thailand disastrous attacks of planthoppers, amongst other pests, have resulted in severe crop loss. These attacks have partly been due to the indiscriminate use of pesticides and poor pest management.
Through the project, local officials have encouraged farmers to deal with pests more strategically and use personal protection equipment.
CropLife International joins as a private sector partner into the project Market-Oriented Smallholder Value Chain (MSVC) to provide expertise and support for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the Central Plains of Thailand. The project builds on the methodology and material developed during the previous project in Viet Nam and is therefore an extension of the project to demonstrate that the approach is effective for different socio-economic and geographical conditions.
The project will train farmers on IPM including the responsible use of pesticides and the use of alternatives such as biocontrol agents, along with their integration. Aside from farmers, people working on the farm will also be trained on how to apply pesticides and how to do pesticide management. Furthermore, pesticide retailers will be trained in IPM, responsible pesticide use and responsible promotion of products. The sale of Personal Protective Equipment will be included, as well. By the end of the project, 3,500 farmers organised in groups will be directly trained in weekly farmer field school activities during the project’s seasonal work. Moreover, at least 400 pesticide retailers/IPM service providers will receive training.