The impact of significant outbreaks of pests and diseases on farmers’ livelihoods and the important links to food security is widely accepted. Baseline surveys conducted in the three ‘climate smart villages’ (Tra Hat, Vietnam, Rohal Soung, Cambodia and Ekxang, Laos) highlighted the importance of pests and diseases, the limited awareness of their causes and management of the crops grown by farmers. Surveys also emphasized the widespread use of pesticides and the weak agricultural extension systems in all three regions.
The CABI team achieved the following outputs in the climate smart villages:
Staff from the Vietnamese Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) were trained as plant health advisors to manage plant clinics on a regular basis. So far, one plant clinic is in operation.
We have also trained local agricultural extension staff on fruit fly management. And trained farmers in ecological engineering and setting up field trials.
In addition, we carried out a post intervention survey.
Staff from the Provincial General Directorate of Agriculture (PGDA) along with local extension workers were trained as plant health advisors to manage plant clinics on a regular basis.
The team also performed capacity building activities and built awareness of key pests and diseases and careful pesticide management.
So far, one plant clinic is in operation.
Staff from the District Agriculture and Forestry Office (DAFO), Laos have been trained as plant health advisors. The curriculum included:
- Diagnosing plant pests and diseases
- Establishing and operating a plant clinic
- Safely using pesticides including what clothing should be worn
- Sharing experiences on managing climatic extremes
One plant clinic is also in operation here.
The project has created a lot of interest because of its approach to managing pests and diseases. Through our work, we are building capacity and competency in the region and providing an innovative platform for information delivery via plant clinics. We also introduced safety measures on the use of ‘hard pesticides’ (those that stay in the pest and move through the food chain and generally WHO classified class II and some class III pesticides). The project will continue to build on these achievements with the support of local and international partners.