Insecticide decision protocols: a case study of untrained Filipino rice farmers uri icon

abstract

  • Surveys in four irrigated rice sites in the Philippines over a span of eight years (1984-91) focused on farmers' insecticide decision making protocol before formalized farmer field school training programmes. Despite past extension campaigns to the contrary, farmers based their decisions more on crop monitoring than prophylaxis. Farmers were deficient in pest identification skills using terms such as worms, moths, and hoppers while some farmers targeted beneficials. Farmers mostly based decisions on planthoppers, leafhoppers, and moths by seeing the insect pest, on whorl maggot, defoliators, and leaffolders by noting damage, and on rice bug and seedbed pests by prophylaxis. Decision protocols were largely site specific based on different pest complexes and outbreak histories as well as being highly farmer specific. A large proportion of prophylactic applications during the early crop stages was timed with fertilizer application. Farmers' frequency of field visitation was as recommended for pests, but reasons to visit the field at the time of a spray decision were predominantly water management. A generalized pattern emerged with monitoring starting on the way to the farmer's field. Some decisions were prompted upon seeing infestation in an earlier planted field or a neighbour spraying. A number of farmers sought lower lying more flooded parcels or downwind sides of parcels to visit first as these microhabitats favour greater pest densities. Most decisions were made while walking along the field border observing patches of damage or flushed moths with the unit of measure being the parcel. The field was entered only as a last resort. Farmers' action thresholds were lower than those of researchers and sampling was less rigorous. A minority of farmers, however, expressed insect pest, abundance in quantitative terms using sampling units of several rice hills, distance of rice rows, and per panicle. Some of the more innovative farmers' pest assessment methods were tested later by researchers. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002
  • 2002