Wisdom of Life

Project-3

Sugarcane Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program

Geographical Coverage :

Tando Mohammad Khan andHyderabadAreas

Timeframe :

30 Years

Donor / Sponsor :

Faran Sugar Mills Limited, Eco-Conservation Initiatives and Local Communities

Project Goals:

The major goals of the business are to increase the sugarcane yield, enhance income of the growers, make available clean supply of cane to the mills and protect the environment.

Objectives of the Project:

  1. Increase sugarcane yield by reducing cost of production through application of farm based environment friendly innovative technologies.
  2. Conserve environment and biodiversity of the area by using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques as a reliable crop production technology.
  3. Introduce natural enemies, bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers in the area to reduce dependence on highly hazardous chemical insecticides.
  4. Identify, screen, introduce and promote high yielding and pest & disease resistant sugarcane varieties.
  5. Help, facilitate and serve the local farmers in the selection and propagation of promising sugarcane varieties so that supply of quality cane could be maximized in near future.

Activities to be carried-out:

  • Survey of the target area to determine initial situation and incidence of various pests.
  • Mass rearing of natural enemies such as Trichocards, Chrysopids, Coccinellid beetles, predators and parasites as will as use of bio-pesticides, press mud, high yielding sugarcane varieties, etc.
  • Social mobilization and orientation of the local farming communities for integrated crop management practices from preparation of land to harvesting of the crop.
  • Application of various IPM measures by the involvement of growers.
  • On-farm training and education of the growers in biological based IPM approach and to demonstrate the impact of chemicals fertilizers, insecticides, water logging & salinity on the land and insect population with focus on following aspects:
    • Biological releases
    • Cultural practices / organic manuring
    • Soil management
    • Suitable intercropping
    • Irrigation management
    • Weed management
    • Mechanical control
    • Use of pheromones and light traps
    • Promotion of drought and insect resistant varieties.
  • Capacity building of the farming communities on following aspects such as:
    • How to grow healthy sugarcane crop and what needs to be done to prevent pests and diseases from becoming a problem
    • The various management options that can be used to keep pests from causing economic losses
    • Strategies for empowering farmers with the knowledge and information they need to become IPM experts.
    • To build farmers capacity in preparation and commercialization of biological products
  • Arranging exposure visits of traditional farmers to other areas of the country where IPM is being practiced as a component part of sustainable agriculture
  • Identification of local market channels to promote the sale of biological products including natural enemies, bio-pesticides, pheromones, insect traps and organic manures.
  • Reporting and documentation of the findings and publication of IPM Training Manuals.
  • Media projection and visibility of the project for secondary adapters.
  • Conservation of natural water resources by promotion of water harvesting techniques.

Management Plan:

To represent ECI, there is a qualified and experienced Program Manager, a Field Manager and 15 supporting staff members in the program. They are responsible for monitoring, pest scouting, mass multiplication in the production lab and mass releases of natural enemies in the field coupled with other non-chemical or least hazardous techniques in close coordination with the Cane Department of FSML and selected farmers’ groups with the technical support from ECI experts. This teamwork results in building up trust of the project among the local growers and levels the ground for success of Sugarcane IPM Program to transform the venture into a self-sustained program being capable to generate its own revenues to meet the management and operational costs.

Our field staff along with technical experts survey different areas to collect the relevant information to solve the pest problems and provide advisory services to the growers in their respective areas. This facility is being provided free of cost to the farmers within the field area since the beginning. However, they are not receiving such type of facilitation from our competitors. Therefore, the popularity of our business has been growing up for many years. Furthermore, our team members try to facilitate the farmers in every possible way by solving their crop management problems in order to develop proper understanding between the local communities and staff members for promotion of business in the area. Likewise, they also try to build bridge among growers and experts so that crop problems may be properly solved. The main responsibilities of technical staff of Sugarcane IPM Program are as follows:

  • To control pest infestation by biological control based IPM package.
  • Various natural enemies and predators (Trichogramma, Chrysoperla and useful beetles) are reared in biological laboratory and released in different fields based upon need assessment.
  • Technical staff of theEnterprisevisits various agricultural farms in Tando Mohammad Khan andHyderabadto provide latest information and recommendations.
  • Different workshops and programs are conducted inHyderabadin which basic information about IPM package is delivered to the growers.
  • Farming communities of the area are able to identify harmful and useful insect pests in the lab and field.
  • Technical staff of IPM Program has established working relationship with various sector offices of Faran Sugar Mills and other local organizations.
  • Trainings from preparation of land to harvesting of crops are being conducted in different parts of the target area.
  • Farming communities of the area are being trained to use crop production technology with scientific approach.

 Outputs of the Project:

  • Sustainable and timely management of prevalent pest problems such as pyrilla, stem borers, top borers, root borers and termites in the target area.
  • Gradual reduction chemical insecticides in the target area.
  • IPM Training Modules to guide the farming communities are being made available for multiplication of biological approach.
  • Community is being mobilized and their capacity built in IPM approach keeping in view new production techniques, sustainable land management and land degradation mitigation practices.
  • Mobilization of local resources for crop management is being carried out by strengthening collectivism among the growers in an effective way

Impacts of the Project:

  • Local farming communities and growers of Faran Sugar Mills Limited (FSML) have reduced the use of pesticides up to 90% in sugarcane farming system.
  • Cost of production of their sugarcane farms is in better control.
  • Mass releases of natural enemies are being made for effective control of sugarcane pests in the mills area. For which the growers have to pay negligible charges compared with the crop protection benefits being achieved.
  • Resistance against chemical pesticides has reduced.
  • It left very positive results in the context of environmental pollution which has been reduced.
  • Plants, birds and other domestic animals were saved from harmful effects of pesticides
  • Various training workshops were conducted at Faran Sugar Mills Limited, which helped improve farmers’ skills to use and adopt innovative productive agricultural techniques
  • Technical support in soil management practices has been greatly helpful for the growers.
  • Strong working relationship among management of Faran Sugar Mills Ltd., technical staff of Eco-Conservation Initiatives and farming communities has been built and sugar mills cane department is procuring sugarcane with less difficulty. This is partly because of the long standing trust of the growers on the Sugarcane IPM Program.

Future Plan :

Although the sugarcane IPM Program has already entered the sustainable cycle, however, we have planned to scale-up this venture for greater impact on the sugar industry inPakistanand elsewhere in the world as a highly sustainable entrepreneurship model. For large scale replication on one hand, this entrepreneurship envisages the advantages of reducing cost of production, increasing direct income of the growers, empowering of the growers for collective decision making due to on-farm training and on the other hand, it plays a big role in environmental pollution prevention by providing alternatives of the chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Supply of market with satisfactory potential to resolve crop production problems at economical rates is an open secret of such an entrepreneurship. Based on this, following are the key components of our future plans for the next 3 to 5 years.

  • Computerizing the production management and financial systems for smooth operations.
  • Further improvement in the mass production processes of our bio-products by introduction of more mechanized methods through research and development.
  • Strengthening and expansion of the existing infrastructure related to mass production of bio-products.
  • Enhancing and strengthening the on-going process of social mobilization in the target area.
  • On-farm capacity building of the clients so that they are more confident in use of the bio-products & services at farm level.
  • Networking with relevant organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and farmers’ groups to enable them as secondary adapters of this model.
  • Increasing the target sugarcane area up to 50,000 hectares.
  • Approach the development assistance agencies and government ofPakistanwith business plan to expand scope of the work for maximum benefit to the growers on one hand and long-term sustainability of the entrepreneurship on the other hand.
Conserving Natural Resource Base and Promoting Human Development through Sharing Knowledge, Exchanging Practices and Co-creating Future