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close this bookExtension of Complex Issues - Success Factors in Integrated Pest Management (LBL - SKAT - SDC, 1997, 102 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAbbreviations
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1 Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2 Project descriptions: Ways of extending IPM
Open this folder and view contents3 Theses: Success factors in extension for IPM
Open this folder and view contents4 Concluding remarks: Respect as the basis for successful IPM extension
View the documentReferences
View the documentAnnex I: National IPM Training Programme Indonesia
View the documentAnnex II: The IPM Project Zamorano in Nicaragua
View the documentAnnex III: IPM Development Programme
View the documentAnnex IV: IRRI: Rice IPM Network
View the documentAnnex V: TREE: Development of Neem-Based Plant Protection Practices in Thailand
View the documentExtension of complex issues

Annex II: The IPM Project Zamorano in Nicaragua

by Jan Stiefel, SRM Consulting

1. Background

· Until the eighties, agriculture in Nicaragua was characterised by large stretches usually of the best land occupied by a minority of latifundists, while marginal areas and the surroundings of large haciendas were left to small farmers, which often worked as seasonal labourers on the haciendas. During the eighties, an agrarian reform brought about expropriation of many large haciendas, and a redistribution to co-operatives and small farms. Until now, there is still much insecurity on land-holding because of insufficient catastral (official valuation office) mapping and recording of property rights. This results in low investment in agricultural production and an economy mainly based upon internal production of food crops by small farmers.

· 24% of the surface in Nicaragua is agricultural land. Of these, only 16% are used for basic food crops: Basic staple crops in Nicaragua are beans, white corn, and rice. Small farmers produce 100% of beans, 94% of maize, and a large portion of rain-fed rice. The large remainder of agricultural land is used for pastures and must be considered under-utilised.

· Main export crop was cotton from monocultures. This and other factors brought a strong support by the government for chemical pest management during the seventies and eighties. Annually, up to 30 kg pesticide per capita were imported. Although IPM practices were proposed since the late sixties, there is much orientation of farmers and institutions toward "ready recipes" and chemical treatment. As a consequence, there is widespread contamination of farmland and people by pesticides, among which pesticides counting among the "dirty dozen": 3.4% of persons contaminated, 80% of which through work accidents.

· A feasibility study had been conducted for this project in summer 1993. The project has completed a pilot phase of 7 months between July 1994 and January 1995 (phase I). A proposal for phase II has been presented in December 1994.

· There were various independent efforts regarding IPM in Nicaragua. They appear:

- focused on other crops than basic grains
- regionally limited
-following a threshold-oriented (curative) interpretation of IPM.

· According to the project, crop losses (basic grains) from pests and diseases amount up to 40%.

2. Main Project Features

· Name: "Manejo integrado de plagas con pequeproductores en Nicaragua". Overall objective:

To contribute to self-sufficiency of staple food in Nicaragua, namely by developing the national capacities to develop, monitor and apply IPM practices on basic grain crops which are economically and ecologically viable.

· Goals:

1. To facilitate the application of new IPM practices in the field in order to increase production, improve health and reduce cost.

2. To consolidate the capacity of (extension) institutions to apply IPM and to coordinate efforts among each other.

The project uses an approach where there are no (or not predominantly) pest control methods prepared on research stations and then instructed to the farmers, but rather an "attitude" approach: Farmers are taught about some basic facts on plant, insect, and other life and their interactions, shown how to observe such interaction, and then encouraged to develop their own creative abilities by inventing control measures using materials and resources available directly in their environment. If available, endemic pest control knowledge is also included. This approach was developed in the eighties and nineties in the Escuela Agricola Panamericana (EAP) of Zamorano, Honduras: There, biologists, entomologists and pathologists came together with sociologists and developed the concept, along with farmers.

The project itself does not conduct extension work. It is rather a body that trains staff of a wide range of institutions, government and NGO's at research, teaching and extension levels in the IPM approach developed by Zamorano in the 1980 and 90s. The project can therefore set itself clear goals on numbers of staff trained.

There are three main course curricula:

1. Natural pest control: Main course. Provided in the style of a workshop, during which a "menu" is proposed to trainees from which to choose priorities. Course contents: Basic ways for natural pest control, life cycles of insect pests, insect predators, insect diseases, basic ways of natural pest control, effects of pesticides on natural insect pest enemies; practical work. 1996: 1117 farmers trained.

2. Course on rational use of pesticides: Basically given on demand by INTA (National institute for agricultural technology). Contents: Economic impact of pests, correct pesticide application on leaves, application equipment, protective equipment, calibration. 1996: 712 farmers trained.

3. IPM on maize: Discussions and demonstrations on maize with practical exercises. Experiences are demonstrated on plots set up by local organisations (mainly NGO's) and on farmers' fields. 1996: 251 farmers trained.

In addition, technical courses and workshops for scientific and technical staff are given.

· At present, phase II is in progress. This phase is of 3 years, to end mid-1998.

· Regions involved: 2 regions (1 and 2); 4 Western departments of Nicaragua (EstelMadriz, Nueva Segovia, LeChinandega).

· Target crops: Basic grains (maize & beans); widened as per crops used by small farmers.

· "Target Population": Small farmers (via training activities, ref. targets phase II).

· Budget phase II: US $ 1.7 million (Counterpart: US $ 300'000).

· Targets phase II (brief):

1. 20 professors to teach agricultural, workers in IPM.
2. 30 researchers of field level to solve IPM problems on basic grains.
3. 300 instructors ready to promote IPM practices in the field.
4. 6000 small farmers applying the promoted practices.
5. Institutions responding to the project (differing partial objectives).

· Phase II is intended to be the "maturity phase", after which the project is to be evaluated and returned to the counterparts.

3. Institutional Set-up

· The project is a unit of its own with one co-ordinator, office and staff in Estelregional offices in other provinces to be set up. Decisions are now taken by the project itself; a "foro nacional" tries to assume leadership.

· In the two regions, regional committees composed from members of partner institutions supervise ongoing activities and priorities. In each, a regional co-ordinator is responsible for work plans, work monitoring, and reporting.

· Direct partners:

National extension service (INTA; new since 1993/4)

UNAN-LeUniversity of Le

UNAG (Small Farmer's Association)

Other partners:


UNA (National agricultural University)

Campesino a Campesino (C a C)



EAP Zamorano

various other NGO's

The mode of collaboration is determined by agreements (cartas de entendimiento).

· Donors: COSUDE (Swiss Development Co-operation); Government of Nicaragua.

· Handing over of control to INTA from 8th trimester (end 2nd year) being examined. INTA is much absorbed by internal structural problems. The project tries to encourage INTA to take up leadership at regional levels. Their priorities according to POA (annual work-plan) are more on biological studies than on extension. It appears that UNA and several NGO's are taking more initiative or interest.

4. Policy Level

IPM is declared "national strategy" by presidential decree (analogy to Indonesia). According to the project, this decree has not had any significant impact.

Based on available material, project policies appear to be defined by project staff, the foro nacional, and the regional committees, based upon the "Zamorano model", and through workshops on one, consultancies on the other hand. Feed-backs from these partners and from farmers are taken up in order to further focus and prioritise work.

National institutions are supposed to impact upon farm productivity by their support for the IPM approach.

5. Research

· Research takes place at three or more levels, and is interactive:

1. On-farm: Verification/testing of new concepts by farmers on their own fields.
2. On-farm: Verification/demonstration of promising concepts by instructors.
3. On-station/on farm: Testing of specific issues by university/Zamorano.

· Links seem to be close, relevance appears to be tested by continuous exchange of experiences among actors.

6. Logistical Base

· Project headquarters is EstelThe project itself is supplied with funds and equipment to travel, communicate, train, and publish results. There are four professional staff, including co-ordinator.

· Other institutions which receive logistic support (transport, computers) are INTA and Campesino a Campesino (C a C).

· Extension services get materials to design demonstration plots. Extensionists participating in training courses of the project receive literature and a diploma.

· There have been some documents produced jointly with some of the institutions, e.g. in 1996 on botanical insecticides.

· No additional inputs or subsidies are given to farmers.

7. Extension

The project does not do extension work, but trains extensionists from other institutions and farmers in the Zamorano approach. Main methods:

- show examples and have them tested,
- involve farmers/staff in inventing their own procedures,
- receive feed-back for research priorities from farmer's ideas and demands.

The institutions are considered unable so far to fully apply ("transfer") the IPM philosophy of Zamorano. Project staff is confident that at the end of the project this will have changed.

There are several examples of good co-operation among farmers, especially from "Campesino a Campesino" (C a C). They had a national workshop with IPM as one of the key features.

· Farmers are encouraged to develop "new things that work" by themselves, starting from convincing examples. The NGO C a C has adopted the procedure that innovative farmers are invited to present their findings in other regions. Some experiences from farmers are published (e.g. Work on wasps by Alberto Cerda Carranza).

· Examples for readily accepted success are: Sugar dissolved in water (to attract predators), protection of wasps, light traps.

· One example mentioned regarding a difficult subject to be taken up is entomopathogens: While ready-made formulations (which resemble synthetic pesticides) are fairly easily accepted, the artisanal production of entomopathogens is viewed by farmers as something rather exotic.

8. Clients

· The project considers farmers, extension and other staff of national institutions and NGO's as "clients", each according to their role and attitude.

· Farmer interactive extension is a main objective of the approach selected (have them show each other their experiences, observations and results). This approach is at the basis typically of the partner institution "de Campesino a Campesino".

9. Main Positive Experiences (Strengths)

(from project and Zamorano)

· Working with a great range of institutions, with the experience that many NGO's are more dynamic and motivated than governmental agencies.

· Using the wide range of experiences and backgrounds of these different institutions

· Regional working groups created.

· A programme of integrated training consolidated.

· Didactic materials produced.

· Begin of a process of internal evaluation.

The project has taken up many feed-backs and wishes from partner institutions in order to better adapt training curricula and priorities. This concerns e.g. amplification of the training over additional crops besides basic grains, and more work on crop diseases. This appears to show a well functioning self-evaluation.

10. Main Negative Experiences (Weaknesses)

(statements from project and Zamorano)

· Lack of focus on impact assessment.

· Resistance by some institutions to measuring impact (considered "intrusion").

· Insufficient clarity on relationships with some institutions.

The project, in its reporting, appears very critical toward itself. This in turn may be viewed a strength rather than a weakness.

11. Preliminary Conclusions

The chosen approach seems to be multi-level and very demanding in its close communication at all levels mentioned, but appears appropriate and working. Demand for training and exchange over experiences gained indicates much interest.

The approach is one of "training trainers", while the contact directly from project to farmers is maintained by including farmers directly in the courses given by the project. This approach and the stated own initiative by some NGOs to further develop the approach seem to have some analogies to the FFS experience.

Apart from some institutional and administrative problems, the project views progress in its own experience gained, accomplishment of training and extension work. The IPM theme is in demand at many levels of Nicaragua.

As the experience is still very young, the drawing of conclusions is preliminary.

12. Documents consulted


"Personal communications" by O. Cres, Allan J. Hruska and J. Bentley, Sep. 96 to Feb 1997


Proyecto MIP-COSUDE: Informe 1995


Proyecto MIP-COSUDE: Insecticidas botcos: Una prica de los productores. Taller Grupo Regional II, Chinandega, 1996


Propuesta para la fase II (Feb 95 - Jan. 98)


Proyecto "MIP con pequeproductores de granos bcos en Nicaragua" (Proyecto MIP-COSUDE): Estudio Linea de Base, Nicaragua, 1995


Diagnostico MIP Nicaragua, 1993


Integrated Pest Management Working Group Impl. Workshop C.A. and Caribbean: Interim Report, 6-11 March 1994


"Campesinos du Honduras", IPM bulletin No 2, mars 1994


"What farmers don't know can't help them: J. Bentley, in: Agriculture and Human Values, Summer 1989


IPM and Central American Smallholders: J. Bentley & K. Andrews, IIED Gatekeeper Series No 56,1995(?)


IPM Implementation Workshop for Central America... San JosCosta Rica, 1994


Le savoir du terroir, J.W. Bentley, 1993


IPM and Resource-poor C.A. Farmers: K.A. Andrews, J.W. Bentley: Global Pesticide Monitor, 1990


Manual de Control Biologico EAP, 1992


Experimenting Farmers of Honduras, Part II: Pest Management. Honey Bee, Vol 1 (1), 19..


The Contributions of Agronomo-Anthropologists to On-Farm Research & Extension in IPM: Grace Goodell, K.L. Andrews, J.I. L: Agricultural Systems, 1990


Alternatives to pesticides in C.A., 1992


Historical context and internationalisation of IPM, Barfield & Swisher: Food Review International 1994, pp 234ff


Pests, Peasants and Publications: Anthropological and Entomological Views of an Integrated Pest Management Programme for Small-scale Honduran Farmers: Jeffery W. Bentley and Keith L. Andrews, in: Human Organisation, Vol 50 No 2, 1991, pp113 ff.


Stimulating peasant farmer experiments in non-chemical pest control in Central America: Jeffery W. Bentley. in: Beyond Farmer First, Intermediate Technology Publications, 1994