Several programs have been undertaken to educate farmers through field schools of integrated pest management for different main crops such as rice, cocoa, and corn. However, after the projects are completed, the farmers return to their old practice of relying mainly on synthetic pesticides to cope with the pest and disease problems. Thus, education in IPM has been ineffective due to the curricula mostly covering theoretical aspects and lack of practices in IPM training. Besides that, the number of applied studies on IPM (integrating all elements of IPM such as biocontrol, resistant plant, planting time, etc.) is very limited. Therefore, demonstration plots used in the trainings both for the farmers and for the students have failed to convince the trainees that the concepts really work.
In order to improve the effectiveness of IPM instruction: 1) the curricula must be updated by including more practical experience for the farmers and students. Students must be trained in all aspects of IPM implementation, including how to use locally available natural enemies of pests and pathogens, amongst other aspects. All necessary materials and equipment in undertaking the task must be provided. 2) Focus on new teaching/learning methods, including problem-oriented education. Students will get a problem to be solved, work on possible solutions, guided interactive process with the instructors. This should be coupled with ongoing research project on the given topic, in which the students participate. 3) More research focusing on applied IPM need to be conducted. All the efforts will be more effective if they are done in collaboration with experts/scientists from the countries with more advanced in IPM implementation (Finland and possibly other countries).
The development targets for our project include:
One case study on using local, biodiversity-based IPM, with focus on the conservation of endangered sea-turtles, will teach the students problem-oriented solving in an innovative way