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Exploring ‘Agro-ecological Intensification’ through Participatory Action Research: Is lesson learned elsewhere could benefit farmers of Bihar1

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Prabhat Kumar2 & Abha Mishra3

Discliamer: Views expressed in this paper may or may not subscribe to the affiliated institutions.
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Paper to be presented in the Scientific Foresight 2007; S. K. Memorial Hall, Patna, Bihar 22-24 December 2007.

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Prabhat Kumar works as Assistant Professor at RAU, Pusa and also as a Regional IPM Expert Consultant of the FAO Inter-Country Programme to Strengthen IPM Training and Sustain IPM Practices among Vegetable Farmers in South and Southeast Asia. He has published several scientific papers in leading international journals and actively involved with the dual cause of ‘farmers education/learning” and Entomological Science in the Asian region. He can be contacted over email: pkipm@yahoo.com or P.Kumar@aol.in .

3 Abha Mishra works as Assistant Professor at RAU, Pusa and currently engaged with her PhD research at Asian Institute of Technology. As a part of her PhD, she is actively engaged with Rice farmers in the Cambodia and in the NE Thailand to explore the scientific and social basis for the sustainable rice production and other alternative, notably SRI (System of Rice Intensification). She has recently published several research papers in international journals and is recipient of Asia Rice Foundation USA award for the year 2005 and could be contacted over email: Abha.Mishra@ait.ac.th.

Abstract:
Agriculture dominates socio-economic and political life of 130 millions peoples in Bihar - spread to the vast scratches of river plains in the north to the Chhotanagpur plateau in the south. Low productivity of major cereal crops resulting into the chronic shortage of food and partial to complete starvation situation was addressed through large scale adoption of ‘input driven’ green revolution in 1970s with astounding success. After two decades or so of adoption of ‘green revolution’ , truth is out - that only a proportion of resource rich farmers were benefited; yields are torpid if not declining; diversity of crops are reducing; insect-pest and disease outbreaks has increased etc. etc.

Given the challenges of ever increasing population and decreasing production base in the state, need for an alternative ‘research-extension’ system is crucial for sustainable agriculture production in Bihar. “Agro-ecological intensification” based PAR /participatory action research), could be successfully used to address technological as well as farmers education challenges. This approach brings collaborative inquiry into the farm problem for sustainable eco- agriculture intensification in order to innovate/adopt/adapt knowledge-intensive technologies that enhance scientifically sound decision making at the field level. Often, physical technology e.g. equipment and crop varieties or knowledge change in farmers are embedded in this approach (like IPM, ICM etc.).

In support of the idea, several examples of this approach, those were funded by FAO / CGIAR will be provided and lessons learned from these experiences and their impact will be presented here. Followed to that a short summary and possible action points (including policy implications) will be enlisted in this regard.

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1. Introduction: 1.1 Bio-physio-social condition of Bihar and production trends

The state of Bihar was reorganized on the 15th November, 2000 with 38 districts of erstwhile undivided Bihar. The state has an area of 94,163 Square Km. and a population of 82.88 millions according to 2001 census (now 130 millions approximately). The population of the State constitutes 8.07 percent of that of the country with about 3 percent of the area thereof. This adverse land-man ratio is reflected in the high density of population which is 880 per sq. km. The decadal rate of growth of population for 1991-2001 has been 28.43 percent which is the highest in the country. The literacy rate in the state has been 47.53 per cent according to 2001 census as against 38.50 percent in 1991 census4. More than 80% of the total population is, directly or indirectly, dependent on agriculture. Almost two third of the area of the state consists of flood prone alluvial plain of the Kosi Gandak, Sone and other rivers while the rest one third is constituted by drought prone and Tal-diara areas. The state has achieved selfsufficiency in food grain productions (see Fig. 1 for recent production trends) but we still need to go ahead in improving the productivity in order to cater the future needs and to improve per capita income (Anno.2007). Bihar is among the least developed states of India and has a per capita income of $155 a year against India's average of $255. A total of 30.6% live below the poverty line against India's average of 22.15% (Annon., 2007a).
40 2005-06 2006-07
40 2005-06 2006-07

Produciton (Lakh Metric Tonnes)

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30

Area (Lakh Hectare)

20

20

10

10

0 Rice Wheat Maize Pulses

0 Rice Wheat Maize Pulses

Major Crops Grown

Major Crops Grown

Fig. 1. Recent agriculture production statistics of Bihar, Kharif 2007

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Information presented here are compiled form the Planning and Development Department of Bihar Government and is available at their website:

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1.2. Green revolution and its impact The large scale adoptions of “Green Revolution” technologies in Bihar and elsewhere in India in 70s not only brought with it the bounty of wheat and rice but also probably saved millions from partial and/or complete starvation. The agricultural sorority in country rightly needs appreciation of its hard work and dedicated effort to reach out to those farmers who could afford the input-driven model for research and extension. But with the more grains and better economy for a part of peasantry, green revolution saw agro-chemicals e.g. fertilizers and pesticides aggressively introduced on a large scale throughout the India and much of developing world of Asia, and these introductions are not always based on ‘informed needs’ of the community. On another side, the “package of practice’ approach, where a suit of agronomic practices were introduced along with selected varieties of crops, and its massive impact on grain production astounded almost everyone. Furthermore, the creation of new research stations; agriculture university in collusion with the agri-industry become the new temple of hope for millions. The HYVs (high yielding varieties) have definitely, without question raised productivity many fold, however, the associated input of synthetic fertilizers and insecticides have without question led to a progressive deterioration of soil fertility, water quality and human and environmental health along with biodiversity (Whitten and Settle 1998). In addition, these changes in agricultural scene in Bihar and elsewhere in India brought benefits of specialization those are based on "economies of scale" where mechanization, specialized know-how and marketing (often through state or central trading corporation or private corporation e.g. Wheat and Rice procurement by FCI (Food corporation of India) or state trading corporations) are involved and on exploiting comparative advantages of the local production situation. The resulting change from a diverse farming to large scale monocultures simplification has a pronounced effect on field and farm-level diversity and environmental side effects (pollution and loss of environmental services). Environmental resources and indigenous knowledge have been disrupted and today, agricultural practices can hardly be defined as sustainable in the state. This situation compelled to introduce the term/ideas “Agro-ecological intensification” (Srivastava et al. 1996). Now the question arises - is it possible to intensify agriculture while enhancing biodiversity? The pursuit of sustainable ecoagriculture intensification require substantial increases in knowledge-intensive technologies that enhance scientifically sound decision making at the field level. This can be embedded in physical technology (for example, equipment and crop varieties) or in humans (for example, integrated pest management, ICM, SRI, INM etc.), but both are essential. However, the challenges of disseminating information on new

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technologies or on efficient input use and management are enormous, especially in cases where extension programmes are ineffective or completely lacking. The earlier paradigm of science being developed at the international or perhaps national level and then disseminated to farmers using some extension tool as practiced under T & V system. A closer examination of T & V system will reveal that they act more as a virtual/real conduit for “external inputs” and hardly focus on “internal resources” such as knowledge, skill and ecological understanding needed for sustainable agro-ecological intensification. The new paradigm and ‘both-and’ demands an active exchange of information among scientists and farmers. Therefore, participatory and group-based approaches, which focus on learning and empowerment, have been increasingly gaining in importance (e.g., Pannell 2006, Mishra et al., 2007) for realizing research for sustainable development. Even in the recent reports progressive decay and ineffectiveness of this extension is highlighted (see Anderson, 2007 more details).

In this paper, we brief the ecological dimension of agriculture and present some case studies carried out under auspices of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and by other agencies like CGIAR (Consultative Group of International Agriculture Research) and Non-

governmental organizations (NGOs) for Integrated Crop and Pest Management (IPM) for rice and vegetables in some South and SE Asian countries that holds much promises for inching towards ‘Ecological Agricultural Intensification. We also discuss the relevance of participatory action research approach for sustainable eco- agricultural intensification in Bihar.

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2.1. The ecological dimension of Agriculture The flow of energy (that involves biological and non-biological agents) drives the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Nutrients are pumped through the system by the action of photosynthesis and are again made available for recycling by the action of decomposers. Nutrients are constantly being removed or added; adding more natural substances or synthetic materials than the ecosystem is able to handle upsets bio-geochemical cycles. For example, the nitrogen cycle is characterized by fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by nitrogenfixing plants, largely legumes (i.e. symbiotic bacteria living in association with leguminous), rootnoduled non-leguminous plants, free-living aerobic bacteria, and blue-green algae. In agricultural ecosystems, the nodulated legumes of approximately 200 species are the pre-eminent nitrogen fixers. In non-agricultural systems, some 12 000 species are responsible for nitrogen fixation. Environmental services and microorganisms: that are vital to agriculture include: Soil forming and conditioning. A substantial amount of invertebrates (earthworms, millipedes, termites, mites, nematodes, etc.) play a role in the development of upper soil layers through decomposition of plant litter, making organic matter more readily available, and creating structural conditions that allow oxygen, food and water to circulate. For example, the amount of soil worked over by earthworms is tremendous: 4-36 tons of soil passes through alimentary tracts of the total earthworm population living on an acre in a year! Termites are the only larger soil inhabitants that are able to break down the cellulose of wood. Termites play a major role in tropical soils where there are also soil churners; they move as much as 5 000 tons of soil per acre in constructing their complex mounds (allowing better rain penetration in soil). Waste disposal. A succession of micro-organisms occurs in the detritus, involving namely bacteria and fungi as well as detritus-feeding invertebrates, until organic material is finally reduced to elemental nutrients. Ecosystems recycle, detoxify and purify themselves, provided that their carrying capacity is not exceeded by excessive amounts of waste and by the introduction of persistent (synthetic) contaminants. For example, the nutrient-filtering function of mangroves can be compared to that of oxidation ponds of conventional wastewater treatment plants. Pest control. Predation is not just the transfer of energy whereby one organism feeds on another organism but also complex interactions among predator-prey populations. If a portion of the prey is not available

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because of environmental discontinuities (a typical case in agriculture), the self-regulating balance will be dampened. Inter-specific competition keeps more pests in check than we ever could by using pesticides. Biodiversity. An ecosystem stability (or instability) depends on the results of the competition between different species for food and space. Predation ameliorates the intensity of competition for space and increases species diversity. The nature of inter-specific competition and its effects on the species involved is one of the least known and most controversial areas of ecology. Beneficial associations. Symbiosis of plant roots with mycorrhizal fungi plays a most important role in temperate and tropical forests in absorbing nutrients, transferring energy and reducing pathogen invasions. Parasitism is used in the biological control of insects. Other symbiotic combinations include animal/fish/tree species (e.g. agro forestry, varietal diversification). Pollination. 220 000 out of 240 000 species of flowering plants are pollinated by insects. Carbon sequestration. The capacity of biomass in sequestrating carbon is receiving an increased attention with the aim of reducing (in the long term) climate change. Where no tillage is practiced, soil contributes to retaining carbon. As organic agriculture favors minimum tillage (for better retention of water, nutrients, and biodiversity), the carbon retention potential of soils is becoming an important issue. Habitat. Although by definition, habitats provide shelter and food, many ecosystems have functions often discounted. For example, hedgerows around a field provide habitat for over-wintering of beneficial arthropods.

2.2 Integrated Pest Management: Evolution of a concept The label ‘Integrated Pest Management’ has enjoyed different definitions and meanings over the last four decades and has considerably evolved. FAO, through it’s Rome based Crop Protection Service (AGPP) and its Panel of International IPM Expert, played a leadership role in the evolution of the concept between 1960 and 1980. Within FAO the concept of IPM has evolved from a strictly crop protection related concept to a much more holistic and ecological approach to crop production and protection. And the evolution of the concept hasn’t stopped since. Through the more recent pioneering work of the FAO IPM Programmes in Asia and a range of international and local development organization partners, IPM has become synonymous with education and human resource development programs. These programs often had (and continue to have) farmer training in crop protection and reduction of chemical pesticides as entry points but have subsequently broadened to include overall crop production. The more recent term “Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM)”, widely used in FAO IPM training programs, especially on the African continent, more appropriately describes the curriculum content of IPM training programs. And, equally important, the training curriculum also addresses social issues and community

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development aspects. Thus, the ‘IPM’ label has evolved from a strictly technical to a much more holistic approach to crop production, human resource- and rural development. The nature of this new meaning can be gauged for example by reference to material posted on the website (www.communityipm.org) and the recent 2002 FAO publication titled “From Farmer Field Schools to Community IPM: Ten Years of IPM Training in Asia“ (FAO, 2002a) {adopted from (Ketelaar and Kumar, 2002)}

2. Bringing science to society through Participatory Action Research – Some relevant examples from Asia Now, let’s discuss some of the examples to pursuit the agro-ecological intensification and conservation agriculture through Participatory Action Research (PAR). We would like to present here 3 case studies from three different Asian countries, where we believe that sustainable productions were achieved using IPM/ICM concept.

2.1 Case Study: Reduced Pesticide Applications by IPM Expert Farmers in Eggplant Production in Bangladesh

Brinjal (eggplant) is widely grown in Bangladesh as it is one of the most preferred vegetables by local consumers. Brinjal receives the maximum amount and frequency of insecticides applications compared to all other vegetable crops in Bangladesh owing to the susceptibility of the crop to damage caused by a range of insect pests and diseases (see Table 1; please note that these problems are common here in Bihar too). The abusive use of pesticides was confirmed by a baseline survey conducted by the Department of Agriculture Extension (DoAE) at the beginning of the Phase I of the FAO Regional vegetable IPM program in 1996-7. This survey showed that farmers apply insecticides up to 80 times per season with Fruit and Shoot Borer (FSB) (Leucinodes orbonalis) as the main target. The evident overuse of pesticides in eggplants called for a major IPM training intervention in order to allow eggplant farmers to reduce use of pesticides. Two season-long Vegetable IPM Training of Trainers Courses were held in Bangladesh throughout the life-time of the FAO Phase I Vegetable IPM Programme. These TOTs were followed by Farmers’ Field School (FFSs) and action research programs, with a special focus on allowing farmers to understand the ecology and management of FSB.

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Table 1: Common Crop Protection Problems Associated with Eggplant Cultivation in Bangladesh Insect pests Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis Guenée) Thrips (Thrips palmi Karny) Red Spider mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisduval) Green Jassids (Empoasca sp.) Epilachna beetle (Epilachna vigintioctopunctata Fabricius) Diseases (Fugal and bacterial) Bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) Phomopsis rot (Phomopsis vexans) Virus diseases Little leaf disease (Mycoplasma like organisms) tobacco rattle virus cucumber mosaic virus tomato ringspot virus Nematode Root Knot nematode (Meloidogy ne sp.)

Through weekly Agro-ecosystem Analysis (AESA), FFS-farmers learnt about crop ecology, which allowed them to make informed decisions on crop management. Life cycles of important pest problems and their natural enemies were explored through on-site rearing and experimentation. Farmers studied the important concept of crop compensation through ‘crop compensation studies’. These studies allowed farmers to understand that healthy crops can compensate for FSB damage, especially during the vegetative growth stage. This new understanding enabled farmers to become confident that not all FSB damage results into crop loss. IPM farmers then significantly reduced insecticide applications for FSB early in the crop growth cycle.

Pupae Life Cycle (24-25 Days)

Young larvae

Eggs (singly laid)

Larvae inside Fruit Female & Male FSB
Fig. 2. Life cycle and various development stages of Fruit and Shoot Borer5

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Source of these photographs: ( http://www.avrdc.org/LC/eggplant/rear_efsb/04life.html). Accessed on 6 December 2007

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Management options that allowed farmers to further reduce the number of insecticide application for Fruit and Shoot Borer included:
• •

Thorough cleaning of seedlings before transplanting to remove eggs and other immature stages; Regular observation of the crop during the vegetative stage and removal of the FSB infested twigs;

• • • •

FSB management based on weekly crop ecosystem analysis; Improved crop hygiene by sweeping dead leaf and crop debris to remove the pupae of FSB; Keeping the field surface clean and remove crop residues; Removal and sanitation of the FSB infested fruits from the field at the time of harvesting.

As a result of this new IPM knowledge acquired through participation in FFSs, IPM farmers were able to reduce the number of applications of insecticide from 60-80 sprays per season to 15 sprays per season. These results are confirmed by more recent impact analysis studies of IPM FFSs training programs implemented in collaboration with other partner organizations in Bangladesh (see table 2). Table 2: FFS Impact Evaluation on Farmers Cultivating Brinjal in Bangladesh6 Parameters Benchmark (before (mean of FFSs training) evaluated) Winter 2000/01 (49 FFSs): Sprays/farmer 14.46 Granular 0.41 application per farmer Pesticide cost 7,131 (taka/ha) Yield (kg/ha) 16,737 Summer 2001 (46 FFSs): Sprays/farmer 16.27 Granular 0.45 application per farmer Pesticide cost 7,648 (taka/ha) Yield (kg/ha) 22,129 IPM-trained farmers Untrained farmers % Difference (after training)

2.23 0.07

12.81 0.36

-84.6 -83.4

1,414 19,370 3.31 0.09

6,777 16,887 14.62 0.34

-80.2 +15.7 -79.6 -80.1

1,710 23,875

6,935 19,768

-77.7 +7.9

Encouraged by these initial successes in pesticide reductions, IPM farmers formed ‘farmers clubs’. In the Jessore region of southern Bangladesh, one of the major objectives of these clubs was to further enhance the knowledge base of the farmers on wider aspects of eggplant cultivation, including proper seed bed management and better fertilizer and water management. The IPM Farmer Clubs also explored and evaluated novel options for FSB management. For example, insect-killing nematodes

(Steinernema carpocapsae) were imported from Thailand for field experimentation purposes by the IPM Farmer Clubs. IPM farmers learned that these nematodes could kill the FSB larvae by locating the host

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Table taken from Lim & Ooi, 2002, adapted from DAE-DANIDA SPPS, 2001; Larsen, 2001. One FFS represents 25-30 men and women farmers, who have undergone season long training.

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deep inside the eggplant branches and fruits. They also learnt that this species of the nematode would not work if local temperatures would exceed 35°C. Consequently, another more heat-tolerant strain, S. riobrave, was imported from Australia for experimentation purposes. Some enthusiastic IPM farmers also learnt that these nematodes could be mass-produced in the homestead. Some of these farmers started experimenting with rearing the nematodes albeit without much success owing to poor hygiene and contamination of the culture. The promising and novel option of FSB control with entomopathogenic nematodes deserves further attention in action research programs that involve IPM farmers.

The FAO Programme assisted other IPM FFSs programs (e.g. implemented by DANIDA-SPPS, CARE-Bangladesh and local NGO Proshika) in staff training to share the innovative brinjal IPM experiences. These FFSs programs continue to develop eggplant growers into IPM experts using the FFStraining approach. Clearly, IPM Expert farmers are able to considerably reduce use of pesticides, increase yield and make eggplant production more profitable (table 3).

2.2 Case Study: Participatory Action Research on increasing water use efficiency in Rice using principles of System of Rice Intensification (SRI and green mulch in NE Thailand7

Under a CPWF (Challenge Programme for Water and Food; www.waterandfood.org/ ) small grant to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT; www.ait.ac.th) from CGIAR’s (www.cgair.org) CPWF, a collaborative enquiry into the water productivity and weed problem issues of the transplanted rice under the ambient of SRI (System of rice intensification) were carried out with a group of farmers, NGO and GO personnel in Ban Chaeng, District, At Samart, Roi-Et, Thailand using. PAR. In addition to the action research, weekly FFSs were conducted for 18 weeks and each week, one or more topics related to water use in rice were discussed with participating farmers and non-formal education trainees. Two experiments were carried out during first season in Wet season 2006 and in experiment 1- where the two water regimes i.e. Just moist (JM) was compared with the farmers practice (flooding), no significant difference in crop yields were noticed and the JM produced similar rice yield per unit area with less supplementary irrigation. Similarly in experiment 2 –where different legumes were intercropped as cover crop in order to suppress weed, SRI (see Stoop et al., 2002 for details) and Mung Bean combination was proved to be best among all other tested bean intercropping, thereby providing high foliage and ground cover as green mulch to the rice crop grown under SRI system of management. Similar experiments were repeated in the dry season 2007 with more or less similar trends of reduced water use and increased productivity of rice.

7 More information can be requested from the authors, who were Principle Investigators of the project. Some of the reports of this project and a 5 minute VDO film of this project (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b31LgNMu-hg ) are available on the Cornell’s University SRI homepage http://ciifad.cornell.edu/sri/countries/thailand/index.html.

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The results for both seasons of experiments are shown in fig 1- 4. The results clearly show that higher water productivity and rice yield obtained under SRI + green mulch (e.g. Mung bean) management performed better than any existing farmer’s practice. Yield and water use efficiency advantages of SRI management compared to farmer’s practice have been reported repeatedly (Koma, 2002, Satynarayana et al., 2006) from various countries in South and SE Asia.

700 Rice yield at harvest (Kilogram/Rai) 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 30 Days Old 14 Days Old a 597.0 Kg 477.0 Kg b
Rice yield at harvest (Kilogram/Rai)

600 b 500 a 531.0 kg

400 456.0 kg 300

200

100

0 30 Days Old 14 Days Old

Fig. 1 (left). Rice Yield per rai at Just Moist (JM) condition. 14 days old seedling performed better over 30 days old seedling under similar water and other management conditions. Bars sharing same small case letters are not significant F = 12.33; df = 1, 5 ;P <0.0248), (Tukey’s test [SAS Institute 1999]). Fig.2 (right). Rice Yield per rai at flooding condition. 14 days old seedling performed better over 30 days old seedling under similar water and other management conditions. Bars sharing same small case letters are not significant (F = 18.33, df = 1, 5, P <0.0123), (Tukey’s test [SAS Institute 1999]).
Water Productivity under Flooding (FL) and Just Moist (JM) for two seedling age 12 D and 30 D

Supplementary irrigation water use per rai (cubic meter)

700 600 645 m 500 400
The water use is presented here in per rai basis. It does not include the precipitation.
3

3.0

Rice Kg/meter3 of water used

2.5

2.0

1.5

300 200 219 m 100 0 Flooding Just Moist
3

1.0

0.5

0.0

14D JM

30D JM

14D FL

30D FL

Fig.3 (Left) Total volume of supplementary irrigation water used under just moist and flooded rice cultivation system. Please note that this information is compiled to show the difference of water use in two systems of rice; flooding (traditional system) and Just moist (SRI method). Also, no precipitation amount is calculated in this graph, and amount of water used is calculated on per rai basis. Fig. 4. Water productivity for two tested conditions of water regime with farmers in the Ban Chaeng, Roi-Et. Please note that the 30 days seedling and flooding (30 D FL) are simulated farming practice used in the experiment for comparison purposes.

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1000 Rice yield at harvest (Kilogram/Rai) b 800

1000 Rice yield at harvest (Kilogram/Rai) a 800

b

a

847.20 Kg.

967.60 Kg. 600

600

748.20 Kg

853.40 Kg.

400

400

200

200

0 30 Days Old 12 Days Old

0 30 Days Old 12 Days Old

Fig. 4 (left). Rice Yield per rai at flooding condition. 12 days old seedling performed better over 30 days old seedling under similar water and other management conditions. Bars sharing same small case letters are not significant (F = 45.12, df = 1, 9, P <0.002), (Tukey’s test [SAS Institute 1999]). Fig. 5. (right). Rice Yield per rai at Just Moist condition. 12 days old seedling performed better over 30 days old seedling under similar water and other management conditions. Bars sharing same small case letters are not significant (F = 68.96, df = 1, 9, P <0.001), (Tukey’s test [SAS Institute 1999]).

Fig.6. Farmers engaged in the action research during dry season 2007, Ban Chaeng, Roi-Et Province, North East Thailand. (Photo: authors)

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Apart from the direct results obtained and their adoption at farmers household and possibly at their neighborhoods, the skills, developed during season-long FFS training provided opportunity to them to do adaptive research to test and refine technology and/or management practices under prevailing condition and added to the ideals of sustainable agriculture in general and water use efficiency in particular. In present study, bringing SRI practice through FFS approach in a collaborative trial was an attempt to understand underlying philosophies of linking Science and societies by engaging farmers, researcher and other stakeholders to scientific research and development. In this trial, the farmers group learnt ecosystem principles using “Agro-ecosystem Analysis” (AESA) - a useful training design, that focuses on field observation and data collection of plant and its micro-environment, analysis of data and its preparation for display and finally summary and group presentation, at different growth stage of crop. The success of such collaboration also encourages for paradigm shift needed for applied research in small farms of Asia where there is still wide gap between potential farm yield and actual farm yield and where farmers have greater control over their internal resources to manipulate them for realizing higher yield (Mishra et al. 2006).

2.3. Integrated Production and Pest Management of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus and its Vector Bemisia tabaci – a case study form the North Philippines Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), which is vectored by Bemisia tabaci (whitefly) is a serious limiting factor for tomato production worldwide. Farmers growing commercial tomato for Northern Food Company in the Philippines were losing yield and income up to the extent of 80% due to this problem since past 4-5 years. In response to their request, FAO Vegetable IPM programme began an intensive training course to train farmers and trainers on this aspect. Followed to that; an action research was initiated involving the Northern Food Company, tomato farmers, IPM trainers, local and FAO scientists and others to find ways and means to reduce the virus and vector problem. Following two tier non-chmical based management strategy were planned: 1. 2. Minimizing virus acquisition in nursery (by introducing low-cost covered nursery) Delaying virus infection in field crop using mulches and mineral oil combination

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Fig.7. IPPM training to the trainers and farmers, Dec. 2006, Ilocos Norte, the Philippines

Fig. 8. Weekly cumulative Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Infected tomato plants expressing disease symptoms in pot studies, where seedlings are either grown inside protected Nursery or in Open Field (control) (F = 11.35; df = 1,5; P = 0.0281).

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50 cm

Abbreviations used: OM = Mineral oil NOM = No Mineral Oil (Control) ML 0 = NO Mulch (Control) ML 1 = Mulch type 1 ML 2 = Mulch type 2 ML 3 = Mulch type 3

OM
50 cm

ML0

B

ML3

ML0

ML2

ML1

ML2

ML1

ML0

ML3

A

ML3

ML2

ML1

1m

NOM
ML0 ML2 ML0

ML2

ML3

ML1

ML1
28

ML0

ML3

C
26

ML3

ML1

ML2

% reflection of UV light

24

22

20

18

16 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

Wavelength, nm (nano meter)

Fig.9. A. The field photo of the experiments. B. the layout, C. Percent reflection of UV light by one of the reflective mulch.

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a. Yield
Fruit Yield (Tons/ha)

30

20

10

0
WMO-WH WMO-YE WMO-SL WMO-NONE MO-WH MO-YE MO-SL MO-NONE

Treatments (WMO = no mineral oil; MO = Mineral Oil) WH = White Mulch ; YE = Yellow Mulch ; SL = Silver Mulch None = either no mulch or no mineral oil

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NATURAL TOMATO SOLUBLE SOLIDS, 0BRIX

b. Brix

6 5 4 3 2 1 0
WMO-WH WMO-YE WMO-SL WMO-NONE MO-WH MO-YE MO-SL MO-NONE

Mean (+SE) Whitefly / Yellow Sticky Trap (3 March 2007

20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

c. whitefly

Average of 3 traps per treatment

WMO-WH WMO-YE

WMO-SL WMO-NONE MO-WH

MO-YE

MO-SL

MO-NONE

Treatments (WMO = no mineral oil; MO = Mineral Oil) WH = White Mulch ; YE = Yellow Mulch ; SL = Silver Mulch None = either no mulch or no mineral oil

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Mean (+SE) Whitefly / Yellow Sticky Trap

Average of 3 traps per treatment

30 25 20 15 10 5 0
WMO-WH WMO-YE WMO-SL WMO-NONE MO-WH MO-YE MO-SL MO-NONE

d. whitefly on yellow sticky traps

Fig.10 (a-c) some results form the action research

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Clearly the farmers were winner and owners of knowledge in this collaborative process. Their fruit yield increased, virus and vectors decreased and net income increased. Moreover, the success will depend on the constant evolution of partnership and collaborative technological innovation in this case.

3. Discussion & Summary

As stated above, the need to grow more crops per unit land with ecological sensitivity (judicious and prudent use of natural resources etc.) would be most critical aspect of agriculture in coming years. Changing social order and consumption pattern, new market economical realities, need of farm families in global-village environment, depleting natural resource base and increasing cost of production would need a matching and massive change in the existing paradigm of agriculture ‘research and extension’ in Bihar and elsewhere in India. These changing environments necessitates change in the farmer’s knowledge and require development of partnership of new kind – a win-win situation where scientists and farmers help to preserve natural resource and at the same time feeds the ever growing population.

The significance of collaborative approach that links science and societies is increasingly being recognized for mitigating these challenges. Action Research programs and associated philosophy provides good base and opportunity to address these concerns in an integrated manner. Involving empowered farmers in such collaborative approach could help to explore all aspects of local farm problems, mindful of local agronomic conditions and taking care of ecosystem for sustainable production

The lessons we can learn from the presented case studies above could have following policy implications:

Farmer’s education process, which addresses, farmers’ education and empowerment, is only a first step in the direction of sustainable research-extension continuum. The ever-increasing demand of locationspecific and need-based technology at the local level and environment-friendly technology at the global level requires collaborative approach making balance between technological and integrated social approach.

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The experiences presented above entails the viability of such approach for successful intervention at farm level without compromising local as well as global need. The model could be equally useful for other crops and commodities as well. • The existing KVKs/ Regional Research institutions/Agriculture universities/college in the state could well provide interface for research and extension. This would not only insure better and timely location-specific extension services to the farmers but also act as complementary technology generation institution within communities. • The human resource development angle in the form of empowered trainers and farmers could well be another positive outcome of such collaboration. In addition, these empowered farmers having solid understanding of natural resources environment could well become partners in formulating farmers’ friendly and environmental friendly policies. • One of the aspects that help sustain learnt knowledge in farmers is the economic benefit. Action research as principle actively supports the idea that farmers should well link with markets, financial institution to produce high quality marketable produce and their products to derive benefit. On another fronts farmers’ cooperatives could be formed to produce high quality agri products for economic sustainability at larger scale. The ‘green payment’ (a payment to farmers who adopt sustainable agriculture practices) might be another option to provide incentive to the farmers engaged in eco-friendly agriculture. • Finally, there is a need of sensitization of research institute and scientists to the value of participatory action research.

Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to the many organizations especially Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and its Regional IPM programme for South and SE Asia, where the first author spend his time since 1997, and to the CGIAR, which funded Thai rice project through CPWF mentioned in the paper. Also we would like to thank several colleagues notably Max Whitten, Ex Chief Technical Advisor of FAO IPM; to Prof. Norman Upoff of Cornell University, US; to Jan Willem Ketelaar present CTA of the FAO Regional vegetable program and to Prof. V. M. Salokhe of Asian Institute of Technology.

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