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Looking Forward to Rio+10: Reporting Progress
on Land and Agriculture
Record of Contributions
Message 38 - Contribution by Dr. G. K. Veeresh of a "Success Story"
Sat, 17 Mar 2001 18:38:18 +0100
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
Dr. G.K. Veeresh