At a time when countries in Asia, including Nepal, are facing new challenges from various kinds of pests, an Asia Pacific level workshop was organized in Kathmandu to empower farmers to fight with the insects.
The 4-day workshop sought to empower farmers through the Integrated Pest Management, Farmers Field School, in support of the idea of sustainable intensification of crop production in the context of climate change and discussed various issues regarding pest management.
In the recent months, Nepalese farmers have been facing a threat from Tuta Absoluta, a tomato killer, which is creating havoc in the fields. Farmers are also facing invasion from many other pests.
Inaugurating the workshop, Radhika Tamang, State Minister for Agricultural Development, said that the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) through Farmers Field School (FFS) has been a significant contributor in improving public and environmental health and in creating awareness in the continuation of all biological entities in the communities.
Reaffirming the commitment of Nepal in international conventions like FAO Code of Conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides, Rotterdam Convention, Stockholm Convention and Basel Convention, Minister of State Tamang expressed the confidence that biological control will gain momentum towards developing a sustainable and feasible approach to replace the chemical pesticides.
Dr. Somsak Pipoppinyo, FAO Representative in Nepal and Bhutan, said that FAO's support to the IPM program significantly contributed in the areas of human resource development, mainstreaming and institutionalization of IPM and FFS programs in the country.
Dr Piao Yongfan, Senior Plant Protection Office of FAO Asia Pacific Region Office at Bangkok, said that FFS has been successful to enhance the skill and capacity of the farming community.
Speaking from the chair, Dr Suroj Pokhrel, Secretary of Ministry of Agricultural Development, hoped that the workshop would find a way out to address the emerging challenges like climate change and conservation of pollinators. He said that the IPM tool has been successfully adopted in the government extension and education system.
Dila Ram Bhandari, Director-General of the Department of Agriculture and Dr Dilli Ram Sharma, Director of Plant Protection Directorate, extended their best wishes for the success of the workshop.
Twenty nine experts from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam were in the workshop.
Experts from the participating countries were scheduled to make presentations on IPM-FFS and empowerment work in support of Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production in the context of Climate Change, showcasing relevant IPM-FFS work on Climate Change mitigation and adaptation and submission of a country paper on the updated status of IPM in the workshop.
As the Asia and Pacific region has so many commonalities, sharing of experiences among the experts on various issues was expected to contribute to strengthening the national capability. Thanks to FAO, Nepalese technicians also benefited from the expert-knowledge sharing.