Farmer field schools significantly reduce amounts of pesticides used, inputs replaced by knowledge

"Farmer field schools have been shown to significantly reduce the amounts of pesticides use, as inputs are being replaced by knowledge. Large-scale studies from Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh recorded 35 to 92 per cent reduction in insecticide use in rice, and 34 to 66 per cent reduction in pesticide use, combined with 4 to 14 per cent better yields recorded in cotton production in China, India and Pakistan.58 Farmer field schools have also proven to be empowering by helping farmers to organize themselves better, and stimulating continued learning. The successful dissemination of the push-pull strategy (PPS) in East Africa, promoted by the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), is largely due to the demonstration of fields managed by model farmers, which attracts visits by other farmers during field days, and to partnerships with national research systems in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries that have made research and development efforts to bring about the necessary adaptations such as choice of maize cultivars" (14) "In Brazil, for example, the 2010 Act on extension and technical assistance for family farming and agrarian reform (Lei 12.188/2010) prioritizes support to rural extension activities in ecological agriculture. This Act will accentuate the qualitative shift in the Brazilian extension services which is parallel to quantitative changes in the last decade. Indeed, extension activities organized under the Brazilian National Rural Extension Policy (2003) have increased from an average of 2,000 activities/year in 2004-2005 to an average of close to 30,000/year in 2007-2009.62 Such efforts enable a rapid dissemination of best practices, including agroecological practices, especially when farmers participate in the system and are not mere receivers of trainings." (15)

Oliver De Schutter, “Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food”, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/16/49: 14-15

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