Enhanced adoption of integrated pest management in sugarcane : SRDC final report BSS225
The project focused on changing the way BSES engages clients in dealing with pest management issues, using the concept of participatory action-learning. Thirty-two small groups of canegrowers were formed around eight pest types. In addition, three major extension campaigns were delivered on the sugar industry?s two most damaging pests, greyback canegrubs and cane rats. A roadshow integrated pest management (IPM) program on rats that was run in central and northern areas in 1999 contacted 480 growers. The wider-reaching initiative Rat Attack trained 2,700 growers in a program to raise awareness and understanding of rodent IPM in late 2000. The greyback canegrub program GrubPlan trained 906 growers and rural industry staff through 70 IPM workshops in late 2001. Training was an interactive process based on developing understanding and skills, leading to a change in practices. Results have been rewarding. Following the rat programs, damage to cane was reduced by around 21% (98,000 t) in 2000 and 58% (273,000 t) in 2001, in comparison with 1999. The GrubPlan program is also reaping dividends with around 60% of growers implementing 80% or more of the management plans they developed in the series. Visible damage to cane from greyback has subsequently declined, which will be confirmed by estimates of crop losses at the end of 2002. The project has been able to mitigate pest impact through achieving learnings with clients. It has also assisted extension and research staff to operate more effectively using good meeting process and extension planning, and has served to standardise IPM programs in industry.