Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Crop Management (ICM) strategies are now widely recognized as key components in the move towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to crop production. In many developing countries however, these knowledge intensive strategies have not been widely adopted by farmers. To address this concern, Farmer participatory (FP) approaches to training and research are fast gaining acceptance.
The FP approach aims to build farmers' capacity to make their own crop management decisions, based on a better understanding of the agro-ecology of their own fields, and according to their own unique set of circumstances and priorities. This is in direct contrast to more conventional extension approaches where research recommendations are passed on to farmers in a top down manner. With FP approaches, the role of the extension service becomes more of a facilitator of a learning process by the farming community, and less of a messenger from the research community.
FP approaches rely heavily on non-formal education methods, and learning through doing, generally known as discovery learning. This manual provides technical information on major cabbage pests and beneficials and a range of discovery learning exercises and field experiments. It is aimed principally at National IPM programmes, IPM trainers, farmer trainers, and others interested in IPM training and farmer participatory approaches.
The manual consists of two major parts: Part I (sections 2, 3 and 4) provide the technical background on the biology and management of some major key pests (including diseases) and beneficials, linked to a set of farmer participatory exercises in Part II (sections 5, 6 and 7). Most exercises have been field-tested in one or several countries in Asia and Africa.
CABI, Egham, UK,