BENEFIT-REALISE conducted Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training

BENEFIT-REALISE Programme conducted a training on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) from August 13-15, 2019 at Dallol Hotel, Adama. The training was attended by 24 participants, mostly composed of REALISE Cluster experts working on seed, agronomy and scaling up of best fit practices. Two of the participants were invited from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. IPM was selected following a stakeholders and REALISE cluster experts training needs assessment. The purpose of the training was to build the understanding of experts on types of major diseases and insect pests of crops, their causes, diagnosis and management options.

The training included field level experience sharing from REALISE clusters and the Ministry of Agriculture, lectures, questions and discussion session, group work and field excursion.

The lectures were given by Professor Emana Getu, a Professor of Entomology at Addis Ababa University and Dr. Fikre Handoro, who was a Senior Pathologist at Southern Agricultural Research Institute.  Principles and use of IPM was the central focus of the training. To ensure the safety of human beings and that of the environment, it was clearly discussed and consensus built that BENEFIT-REALISE programme uses and promotes IPM where use of commercial pesticides comes as a last option. The plenary discussions focused on ground level insect pest and diseases that the clusters are facing and recommended courses of action to address the problems. During group work session cluster experts developed an Integrated Pest Management strategy to address priority diseases and insect pests problems in their specific context.

On August 15, 2019, a field visit was arranged to visit Melkassa Agricultural Research Center to see disease and pest problems and their symptoms on crop stands and discuss with resource persons. This greatly helped the participants to understand the nature of insect pests and diagnose diseases. The field excursion also included a visit to Eteya Farmers Service Center, a private agro dealer supplying different pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides), liquid fertilizers, farm tools and other farm related services to farmers in Eteya Woreda and the surrounding areas. Here, participants were able to discuss with the manager of the service center, see chemical spraying gears, appropriate storage facilities, proper labeling of packages, and the like.

Overall, the training was successful as it provided an appropriate forum to discuss different crop insect pests and disease problems at cluster level and the recommended course of action to address them. Participants acknowledged that the training was needed and relevant as it helps them to provide proper advice and guidance to farmers in the event of insect pest and disease occurring.

By Addisalem Ambaye Tadesse, and Mulugeta D. Chimsa  

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