Pest attack is one of the major problem of agriculture in Pakistan. Farmers commonly use chemical pesticides to control different types of insect’s pest. Blindly using of chemical pesticides not only increasing the financial burden of the farmers but also putting negative effects on environment and human health. Application of chemical pesticides to combat pest-damage increases the direct risk of environmental pollution, increases selection pressure for insecticide resistance both in target and non-target pests and often reduces the abundance of beneficial insects.
An alternative way to deal with pest problem that reduces pesticides inputs is known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). During FFS sessions this approach was discussed in detail with all FFS participants. It was discussed that pests can also be controlled by other insect which are called natural enemies of pest (biological control of pests). Actual principle of FFS which is learning by doing was adopted for increasing the understanding level of participants of can we control pests by using natural enemies. For this purpose, insect zoo or cage study was conducted with FFS participants. This activity was focused on locally identify pest problems and finding their natural solution. Participants were asked to collect insects from learning plots and put them into a vile. FFS participants were then asked to observe the insect zoo over the week between FFS meetings and take note of what happens. Participants shared that they observed that some insects (which were previously considered to be harmful) started feeding on other insects.
By doing this excise, it was found that the learning level of participants was higher as compare to other participants by whom concept of insect zoo and biological control of insects was shared during FFS session.
Biological Lab established in Agriculture Extension department provided technical support to farmers for enchasing the understanding about differentiating between beneficial and harmful insects. They not only proved technical knowledge to the participants and also installed Trichgramma and Cryoperlla cards on learning plot of FFS. Now the farmers are bridged with the lab and they are regularly getting these cards and technical from lab.
Another locally invented pest management technique is the use of yellow sticky cloth for white flies. White fly attack is a major problem in Ranjanpur during Kharif season. Farmers generally use chemical spray which are costly and dangerous for environment. Through FFS, they have been trained to use a 15ft long and 4ft wide yellow cloth to catch these flies. This cloth has grease applied to it and when farmers move in their field in a systematic manner, the flies get stick to it. This method is highly effective in terms of impact reduction and cost efficiency.