|Extension of Complex Issues - Success Factors in Integrated Pest Management (LBL - SKAT - SDC, 1997, 102 p.)|
by Ciba-Geigy in Cotton in Pakistan
Peter Schmidt, LBL
· Location: Pakistan, in Punjab, the main cotton growing area of Pakistan. In Pakistan 2.8 million hectares cotton are cultivated by 0.9 million farmers. 80% of them are considered to be small farmers which means that they cultivate less then 10 hectares each. The most common crop rotation is cotton - wheat - cotton etc.
· Problem: Until 1991/92 the cotton yields in Pakistan had been steadily increasing up to 11.4 million bales in this season. Afterwards the production dropped (to 6.5 million bales) and the yields decreased from an average of 848 KGs lint/hectares to 515 KGs lint/hectares. One of the causes identified besides virus diseases and unfavourable rains were insect pests (Forrester 1994, 8). The two main pests are whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and American bollworm (Heliothis armigera). From 1988 to 1993 the number of sprays in a season increased in an average from 1.6 to 4.0. The cost of insect control now accounts for 26% of the total variable costs to grow cotton (previously approximately 20% for the past six years) (Forrester 1994,17). These increases are explained by growing insecticide resistance.
· Agency: Ciba-Geigy is presently running three IPM projects in Pakistan, two practically oriented aiming at large respectively small farmers and a technical programme. For the purpose of this study we would like to consider the two extension programmes. The one aiming at large farmers we will call "Large Farmer Project" and the one dealing with small farmers "Small Farmer Project". The second project belongs to a group of projects under the title "Ciba Small Farmer Programme, Farmer Support Team" (FST) which is described in the next paragraph.
· Farmer Support Team: The FST programme is an education and communication programme of Ciba-Geigy directed to small farmers in several developing countries. With a foreseen duration of five years the programme started in 1991 as a pilot programme to support the group companies to implement insights gained from social marketing and IPM. The goal of the programme is to develop an education and communication programme so that small farmers in developing countries derive a maximal benefit from plant protection means by a minimal risk for the applicator and the environment. The programme follows as a principle the so called "product stewardship" and aims at the increase of cost/benefit through higher yields (quantity and/or quality) or optimise chemical inputs (compare Ciba, Streiflichter, 3 - 5). The term "product stewardship" can best be explained by "being responsible after having sold a product" (Robinson 1996).
· Motivation of Ciba: The involvement in IPM of Ciba as a multinational chemical company has several reasons:
1. Small farmers in developing countries are perceived as a difficult but large and rapidly growing market potential (Ciba, Streiflichter, 4).
2. The "long-term economic future is depending on consensus with the public on social and environmental issues" (Ciba 1996, 4) or with other words a "good company acceptance" is regarded as crucial to maintain the position of the company.
3. The promotion of IPM which calls for a product stewardship is seen as a means to keep the market share against cheaper generics that are not supported by a product stewardship (compare Ciba 1996, 4).
4. IPM is a cornerstone for Insecticide Resistance Management and ensures a long-term payback for the massive investments in research and development of new products (compare Ciba 1996, 4).
Vorley summarises the motivation of a company like Ciba to engage itself in IPM as follows: Selective use of chemicals result in "resistance management, longer product life, improved grower satisfaction and minimum operator contamination" and finally enhanced public acceptability (Vorley 1993). Robinson (1996) does bring the motivation to the point when he says: "The farmer is paying my salary. If I can make the customer rich, it will benefit me".
· Definition of IPM: IPM is the declared crop protection strategy of Ciba-Geigy and as such described in the "Charter of the Crop Protection Division" (Ciba, 1996b). This Charter was scheduled for publication in spring 1996. Just before that date the surprising merger between Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz to the new company Novartis took place and the publication of the Charter was postponed. However, in the Charter IPM is defined as "the farmer's best combination of cultural, biological and chemical measures that yield the most cost-effective, environmentally sound, and socially acceptable insect, disease and weed management for crops in a given situation" (Ciba 1996b).
2. Main features of the project
2.1 Large farmer project
· Name, duration, objectives and target group: The "IPM Development programme by Ciba-Geigy in Cotton in Pakistan" (later called the "Large farmer project") operates with large commercial cotton growers (more than 40 hectares of cotton). It started in 1991 and reached until 1994 1200 farmers. It aims at "significant improvements in yield... whilst reducing the amount of pesticide applied" (Shareef 1994,1).
· Main indicators: Indicators mentioned are number of insecticide applications per season (reduced by IPM applying farmers), yield per area (higher in plots under IPM treatment), revenue per area (higher in IPM plots).
Main focus: In the centre of the project stands a set of six rules for the use of pesticides, namely
1. Practise pest scouting and identify the pests,
2. Know the beneficial insects,
3. Know the economic thresholds for the pest/beneficial complex to enable "spray" or "no spray" decisions to be made,
4. Select the right pesticide and apply it in an appropriate manner,
5. Evaluate one spray before making the next spray decision
6. Comply with any local resistance management guidelines (Shareef 1994, 2).
Or in short: "Our objective is for farmers to become their own pest managers" (Ciba 1995).
· Win-win situation: Although the number of sprayings reduced in the case of farmers who apply the six rules their costs for chemicals did increase. However, because of considerably higher yields, the revenues are still higher under the IPM treatments (Shareef 1994, 3). In this situation the farmers as well as the chemical industry are winners. This was also the case in 1995 when only a low pest pressure occurred: In this situation farmers following IPM treatment sprayed more often than the control group but the IPM farmers still got higher revenues (Robinson 1996).
2.2 Small Farmer Project
· Name, duration, objectives and target group: The Ciba Farmer Support Team Project in Pakistan was initiated in 1992 for a pilot phase of five years. It's objectives are in line with the FST programme as a whole (see above). The target group are small cotton growers, i.e. farmers cultivating less than 10 hectares of cotton. The project addresses yearly 3500 to 4200 farmers (Pfalzer 1996).
· Main indicators: Similar to the Large Farmer Project the indicators mentioned for the Small Farmer Project are number and timing of pesticide applications (reduced for IPM applying farmers), product selection, safe handling, yields (increased in case of IPM applying farmers), cost/benefit ratio (improved for IPM applying farmers), poisoning cases and knowledge about IPM and safety aspects (Pfalzer 1996 and Ciba 1996, 5).
· Main focus: Besides the six basic IPM rules (see above) the focus of the project is directed towards "small farmers" because the FST programme as a whole is a pilot activity for Ciba how to deal with this market segment in future.
· Market share: Again a win-win situation: In case of the farmers contacted through the Small Farmer Project the market share of Ciba-Geigy increased considerably compared to a control group in 1994 (Ciba 1996, 5).
3. Institutional set-up
· Ciba-Geigy is a multinational chemical company and has its headquarters at Basle, Switzerland. There the relevant policies are prepared detailed, like the "Charter of the Crop Protection Division" (Ciba 1996b). In the case of IPM an "IPM Implementation Manager" has a networker function. A small unit is responsible for the Farmer Support Team programme.
· In Pakistan Ciba runs its own offices and a laboratory at Multan (for resistance testing, insecticide screening). The two IPM projects are funded by and are reporting to the head of Ciba Pakistan.
4. Policy level
· For Ciba the laws and policies with regard to admission and registration of chemicals are of importance. In 1992 in Pakistan a major change took place: Since then chemical formulations that are registered either in an OECD country or in China do not need an additional registration in Pakistan. Therefore, generics originating from China are being imported causing a drastic price reduction.
· Project planning: In case of the Large Farmer Project the beneficiaries were involved in the redesign of the project.
· Ciba is conducting its own research related to IPM in Pakistan. Under the title "IPM 2000" Ciba runs a project to develop IPM compatible techniques. The research is conducted on farmers' fields.
· The main research institute in the given context is the Central Cotton Research Institute at Multan. There is a collaboration with this institute for example regarding the determination of economic thresholds, a key value in IPM as understood by Ciba.
· The International Institute of Biological Control at Rawalpindi runs an Asia Development Bank funded IPM project. Unfortunately in the view of Ciba, there seems to be no collaboration.
6. Logistical base
· Ciba's structure is directed towards the sale of its products and is therefore part of the logistical base for crop production itself. However, the sale of pesticides happens through private dealers and not through Ciba staff.
· Basically both projects do not provide any direct support to farmers except advise. However, in the case of the Small Farmer Project there are certain hidden subsidies like the organised repair of sprayers where the farmers only have to pay for spare-parts (Ciba, Streiflichter, 7).
· The availability of credit seems to be a major problem for small and medium scale farmers (Forrester 1994,13).
7.1 Large farmer project
· Ciba's operations in Pakistan are organised in eight sales regions. Each region is headed by a Technical Sales Officer (TSO) who actually has the function of a marketing manager. Each TSO is supported by three Field Officers (FO). In each sales region one Field Officer is dedicated to the IPM programme (Newton, personal communication).
· According to Forrester these people are highly motivated, capable and well trained (Forrester 1994,13). Each FO visits in weekly intervals five to six key-farmers who apply on one plot of at least 25 acres size IPM practices and on an other plot the practices as chosen by themselves. At the occasion of the visits the crops are checked for insect pests, natural enemies and fruit production. During mid-season the visit intervals are even reduced to three days. "The concept of spray thresholds is employed and operator safety and proper pesticide applications are taught" (Forrester 1994,13). Large farmers usually have a crop manager employed who is responsible and trained in pest scouting.
· These visits continue for one season. In the following year(s) the attention of the FO is directed to new farmers but the previous clients are visited sporadically at random to monitor adoption.
· Each key farmer selects six "fellow farmers" and is supposed to spread the IPM knowledge to them. In accordance with the Small Farmer Programme Ciba now considers to replace this approach (namely key farmers and fellow farmers) by a "village concept" (see below).
· In addition to the work on the farms the project sponsors technical seminars, farmer and dealer training meetings and field days. In 1993 the project financed "a three-part television series again promoting the six basic rules specifically as part of IPM and more generally as part of good agricultural practise" (Shareef 1994, 2).
· Besides the season-long direct contact the project makes use of other communication channels like direct mailing (Ciba 1995).
7.2 Small farmer project
· The Small Farmer Project has ten Area Advisory Officers (AAO). They have an equivalent position to the TSO but compared to them less marketing obligations. TSOs and AAOs are permanent staff of Ciba. Each AAO is supported by two Field Officers (FO, temporary staff). The FOs are graduates trained in agronomy.
· Each AAO is dealing with a number of selected villages. In 1995 this were twelve new and seven old villages per AAO. "New" means in this context first year of intervention and training while "old" refers to second year of intervention and training. Therefore, with ten AAOs the total intervention and training zone in 1995 was 190 villages. In each village 20 farmers are selected according to literacy, education, age and social status. If possible leaders and innovative farmers are selected. 20 farmers correspond in an average to a sample of 30% of all cotton growing farmers in a village.
· In most of the villages (i.e. in 100 villages) an I PM demonstration plot is set up with an average size of ten acres. The FO visits this plot weekly on a specific week day and the 20 farmers are informed about these visits.
· Besides these weekly visits in 1995 the following activities took place in the 190 selected villages: 247 farmer meetings (before the actual cotton season), 423 demonstration visits and 325 field days on specific topics relevant to the time of the season.
· Additional communication channels are Direct Mail of information brochures and product (pesticide) information, seminars, use of mass media and establishing contacts with opinion leaders like journalists, staff of the governmental extension service, politicians etc.
7.3 Both projects
· According to Forrester the governmental extension service is by and large ineffective particularly due to transport constraints (Forrester 1994,14). Besides, Forrester is of the opinion that the extension service should be revitalised with regularly updated knowledge (1994, 6). In order to maintain a good working climate both Ciba projects invite the staff of the governmental extension service to project activities like field days or demonstrations.
· TSOs and AAOs are provided with cars while the FOs are equipped with motorcycles.
· According to Forrester the Ciba field staff is highly motivated. Besides a good salary and adequate transport facilities the following aspects contribute to this motivation: With each employee in a high level management position once a year a so called "target dialogue" is conducted. Targets are jointly defined like for example a market share. It is decided to add qualitative targets in future. The joint definition of targets then is complemented by a close supervision.
· In case of the lower level staff a couple of additional reasons contribute to a high motivation: On the one side the staff is given clear tasks. On the other side the employees are driven hard and closely supervised. As a source for feed back serves market research. High quality training sessions and the good reputation of being an employee of Ciba are considered as motivating factors too. The staff gets additional satisfaction because creativity is respected and furthered and because there prevails a feeling that the staff does more than selling chemicals but is contributing to cotton development in Pakistan (Robinson 1996).
· In both projects market research is an important planning and monitoring instrument. Both, outside agencies and Ciba's own market research wing are active in this field. The customers of own products as well as of competing products are asked about satisfaction regarding the products and advise given. The methods used range from questionnaires to group discussions.
· In the case of the Large Farmer Project the selected key farmers are supposed to train six fellow farmers each. Asked about their motivation to do so, Newton (personal communication) argued that they would be interested to avoid pest invasion from the neighbours' fields. But the contrary is happening as well as the following example demonstrates: A Ciba FO and a farmer are counting insects. There are no pests at present. Nevertheless the farmer insists that he wants to spray because "I have not sprayed for three weeks but my neighbour has sprayed several times." The effect of the so called "peer pressure" is forcing this farmer to spray against the six rules.
· In the case of the Small Farmer Project a certain trickle down effect of IPM (and other) messages from the selected 20 farmers to others has been observed and documented for the application of safety measures when spraying pesticides (Ciba 1996c).
9. Main positive experiences
· A visiting FAO consultant (Forrester) was highly impressed by the project and proposed to the FAO headquarters that this programme should serve as model for any future IPM extension programme in cotton. Moreover, he suggested that FAO should take over the entire project including the trained personnel until the Government would be ready to run such a programme.
· The cost/benefit figures show that the farmers benefit the activities of the two IPM projects and this significant progress is achieved by using simple techniques (Robinson 1996).
· This progress is giving satisfaction to the involved staff.
10. Main negative experiences
· Ciba itself criticises the little reach of the two projects compared to the total number of cotton growers in Pakistan and in relation to the considerable resources invested (Robinson 1996).
11. Temporary conclusions
· Ciba has managed to have highly motivated staff. That is a learning field for other extension services.
· Broad impact: Ciba is experimenting with farmer interactive extension (Large Farmer Project). If a large farmer can convince his neighbour to apply IPM properly this reduces the pest risk for both. A win-win situation. In case of the Small Farmer Programme the farmer interactive extension is vague only (peer pressure, passive diffusion).
· Farmers are basically perceived as recipients of messages. In 'Streiflichter' even the comparison of a doctor and a patient is used (Ciba, Streiflichter, p.4).
· The extension activities are rather teaching than joint problem solving. In the case of the large Farmer Project it is the FO who is doing the pest scouting. This questions the sustainability of the efforts taken? The solutions are delivered by the staff. The final decision to adopt the lesson learnt is, however with the farmer.
12. Documents analysed and discussions
Ciba, 1992. Ciba Small Farmer Programme. Farmer Support Team. Ciba Plant Protection.
Ciba, Streiflichter: Ciba Streiflichter. Das Farmer Support Team der Division Pflanzenschutz. Deutschsprachige Informationsbler der Ciba-Geigy AG, Nr. 1, Basle.
Ciba, 1996: The Farmer Support Team (FST) is Moving Ahead! Insect control newsletter: 1:1996,4-5.
Ciba, 1996b: Charter of the Crop Protection Division. Unpublished.
Ciba, 1996c: Die Wege des Farmer Support Teams in Pakistan. In: Agri Info 8:96. Basle.
Forrester N.W., 1994: Management of key cotton pests in Pakistan. Final Report. FAO Technical Assistance to Pakistan. FAO.
Pfalzer H.: Ciba Farmer Support Team. Info fur LBL. Unpublished. Basle.
Shareef et al., 1994: Quantitative results from an IPM development programme by Ciba-Geigy in cotton in Pakistan. Karachi.
Vorley W.T., 1993: Putting the agrochemical industry's IPM training and extension responsibilities into practice in developing countries. International Journal of Pest management, 1993, 39 (4) 371 - 374.
21.5.1996, Basle with Walter Kaufmann, Strategic Services Agriculture, Gert-Henri Ernst, Product Manager Cotton, Philip Newton, IPM Implementation Manager, Hans-Joerg Pfalzer, Farmer Support Team
6.6.1996, Basle with Walter Kaufmann, Stephen W. Robinson, Cotton Crop Manager