Smart pest management boosts cabbage output
An integrated pest management technique incorporated into farming practices in cabbage farms in Fiji’s Sigatoka Valley has seen farmers’ profits rise between 20 and 30 per cent.<!--more-->
The integrated pest management programme (IPM) uses existent, comprehensive information about the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. In combination with available pest control methods, this information is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means.
The technique is based on the premise that not all insects are bad and that pesticides are not the only means to control harmful insects. The technique therefore is both an economical and sustainable method of pest control.
The programme is part of Brassica, a project that kicked off in 2006 in Samoa and Fiji, which was meant to conclude this year. However, because of the success of the programme, it is being continued probably starting February 2012, and will be extended to include other vegetables and countries. Tonga, Solomon Islands and Kiribati in addition to Samoa and Fiji will see Brassica implemented this year.
While the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research funds the project, the South Pacific Community’s Land Resources Division coordinates it with local government agencies helping implement it. More international funding agencies are also expected to fund the expansion of the project this year.
Photo / Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)