Knowing and killing the pests
Knowing and killing the pests

Daunne Devi farmers’ group in Pratappur, Nawalparasi West, are happy with the practical learning they received from the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) farmer field school on cucumber and bottle gourd. The weekly sessions over 16 weeks covered all stages of production from site selection to seedlings to pest control.

They then learnt about preparation of bio pesticide from locally available materials like chilli, garlic, cattle urine, neem, bakaino (chinaberry tree), asuro (acanthus), cow dung, ash and molasses. Hemkala Chaudhary, secretary of the Daunne Devi farmer group explained how she can now distinguish between harmful and beneficial insects, understanding that the herbivorous insects are harmful to the plants whereas the carnivorous insects are beneficial to crops. They observed the red pumpkin beetle, fruit flies, and aphids in the IPM plot and experienced that the regular use of bio pesticide controls these insects. Hemkala explains: “The black spotted beetles with an even number of spots are harmful while those with an odd number of spots are beneficial.” Besides this, she shared that before the IPM sessions they thought that ladybirds were adult aphids and therefore pests, because ladybirds are found on the part of the plant where aphid infestation occurs. Now however, they know that ladybirds are beneficial insects which eat aphids. Hemkala also learnt that removing pests by hand is the most effective method for pest control at the initial stage of infestation.

The IPM farmer field school changed the group’s thoughts and approach to pesticide application, that using chemical pesticide to destroy pests is the last option, only to be used if other means of controlling pests do not work. They also learnt about timely cultivation practices such as weeding, irrigation, top dressing, staking, spraying, harvesting and grading of crops. This holistic training, encouraging the use of locally available materials and organic approaches, is helping the farmers to support their families with greater and healthier crop yields.

Ram Sharan Shrestha
Project Manager – Livelihoods

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