Integrated Planning and Management of Land ResourcesFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002

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Message 38

Subject: Message 38 - Contribution by Dr. G. K. Veeresh of a "Success Story" Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 18:38:18 +0100 From: RIO10-Moderator To: "'RIO10-L@mailserv.fao.org'" Calling on Partnership and Support - 'A Success Story' It is a welcome suggestion by Alteri that "it is time that the UN provides the political support for an alternative agricultural development approach engaging in a real partnership with NGOs, farmers' organisations...". He suggests that an alternative institutional framework where FAO serves as a catalyst distributing funds to NGOs and farmers organisations committed to delivering solutions. Alteri states "We cannot afford continuing to bet solely on an international agricultural research organisation that has not delivered the desired result" and he suggests that resources be mobilized to "immediately promote what is really working out there". All his suggestions are very pragmatic and need of the hour. Results of millions of dollars worth World Bank agricultural projects in developing countries have not reached the real farmer. On the other hand, these projects have increased the burden of repayment. I have just returned from a tour of the cotton belt of Karnataka, where an FAO supported integrated pest management project in operation in six villages. Fifty two percent of the total pesticides used in India are on cotton and hundreds of farmers' suicides are from cotton growers who were unable to pay the loan borrowed on pesticides. Their project has worked wonders on farmers' thinking, and building confidence to beat the pests from their own stick. Being an entomologist and associated with plant protection for over four decades, I have watched how well the IPM program, particularly on cotton, has worked. But it was not adopted by farmers, in spite of the good it accrues to the farmer and environment, because somebody else did it without getting it done by farmers themselves. An intensive training of the trainers at a cost of half a million Rupees funded by FAO and these trainers training the farmers every week from seed to seed and through getting every bit of the work done by the farmers has left them as knowledgeable as the experts on cotton IPM. They could tell integrated nutrient management system (INM), integrated pest management system (IPM) and all the beneficial and harmful insects, birds perching, yellow traps, pheromone traps, economic thresholds, etc, etc. with all reasons and answers for their why, where, how, when and what. It was a tremendous impact and they have now formed their own club and willing to spread knowledge to others. They are expecting a good harvest without resorting to a single synthetic insecticide spray where they were doing 15-20rounds of the same earlier. Therefore, there is a need for an "alternative agricultural development approach" and an "alternative institutional framework" where FAO serves as "catalyst". With regards, Dr. G.K. Veeresh

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