For the second year in a row, HollandDoor was project manager, on behalf of Lentiz Cursus and Consult, for Integrated pest management trainings for protected and open field vegetables and fruits in Sri Lanka. These trainings are organized in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in Peradeniya and supported by the Dutch Embassy in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.The trainings have a clear objective: increasing food safety by reducing the use of pesticides. Topics discussed include monitoring pests and diseases, preventive measures, natural enemies, recognizing the pests and diseases, threshold levels, appropriate techniques and personal protective measures.
Five times, from March till November, a one-week training was conducted, and 124 farmers and extension officers participated in these trainings. An online survey, with 114 respondents, found that participants not only gained new knowledge about pest management control, but, and maybe more important, also developed a new attitude regarding food safety and the importance of reducing the use of pesticides. The way to disseminate this knowledge to farmers was also discussed.
In December, the trainings were followed by an impact evaluation in the field at six farms. The DOA, the embassy and Lentiz saw a positive effect of the trainings here also. They noticed that less pesticide was being used. Moreover, the farms were using monitoring systems, improved techniques and protective clothing.
A WhatsApp group was introduced, so that trainees can continue asking each other questions and sharing experiences. The trainings were conducted with experts from Wageningen University, Aeres, Wellant and Stokkum Consultancy and guest lectures from Koppert, RijkZwaan and Control Union.
For more information please contact: Engelie Beenen.