CHAP partner CABI works to cut pesticide use in Pakistan cotton crop

Cotton is a key crop in Pakistan, but traditionally requires intensive pesticide use. Excessive pesticide use can affect farmers’ health and can also be a huge financial drain as farmers incur not only the cost of the chemicals but also the cost of labour to spray crops.

CHAP partner CABI has therefore launched an initiative to cut pesticide use through the production of organic cotton seed through the Cotton Advocacy for Policy and Seed (CAPAS) project (funded by the Laudes Foundation) – in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. The area was selected as it is free from contamination, making it suitable for organic cultivation.

CABI ran training sessions in two districts of Baluchistan, Lesbella and Barkhan, to teach the farmers about pests, beneficial insect identifications and biological control methods and to introduce an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.

IPM practices were promoted among agriculture officers, field assistants, field facilitators and more than 108 organic cotton farmers.

To promote biological control, training sessions focused on the Natural Enemies Field Reservoir (NEFR) technology, which provides a safe habitat for the natural enemies of the target pest by manipulating the existing environment on the farmer’s field.

Farmers were informed about its infrastructure, management techniques and how this farmer-based field laboratory can be run successfully. They were also shown pictures of the beneficial insects which will be reared in laboratory as part of the control measures of the harmful insect pests of cotton without use of any pesticides.

The sharing of information has given the farmers confidence to avoid pesticides, saving on expenditure and reducing land contamination. For more information go to CABI.

CABI partners with CHAP on our National Reference Collection, International Pest Horizon Scanning and Fungal Biopesticide Development Lab

If you have any questions about working with CHAP, please send us an email using the enquiries form at the bottom of our homepage.