Monday, October 31, 2011

Integrated Pest Management in Nicaragua

Recently the Farmer to Farmer Program in Nicaragua welcomed Julie Longland for a pest and disease control assignment specifically focused on Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Ms. Longland worked with potato growers and field workers in the main potato production areas of the highlands near Jinotega, Matagalpa and EstelĂ­.  Farmer to Farmer began working with the potato growers in this area in January of this year as part of its horticulture country project.

IPM is an important area of technical assistance given that many growers use pesticides as the primary control method to managing pests and diseases.  Growers are often unaware of the safety hazards to themselves and the environment. Often times these growers don’t know the other tools that are available that may be both safer and less expensive to use.  As Ms.Longland expressed, “With all of the recommendations, it was emphasized that any positive change, even if only a small adjustment, would be a real improvement in their management and/or safety”. In addition to IPM training, Ms. Longland also provided technical assistance on pesticide safety, beneficial insects, monitoring using yellow sticky traps, storage and sanitation practices and crop rotations. 

Farmer to Farmer is planning other upcoming assignments that address the needs of IPM and pesticide safety for potato growers in Nicaragua. These assignments will build on the recommendations made by Ms. Longland and other horticulture volunteers.  Below is a link to a short article written by Julie Longland for the website of the Entomology Department at Purdue University, where she completed her undergraduate degree.

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