Stories tagged: CropLife Asia

Growing quality crops brings wealth to Indonesia’s farmers

Farmers in Indonesia’s North Sumatra used to suffer from low productivity and lacked knowledge about fertilizer use, as well as responsible ways of protecting their crops. In addition, farmers were also putting their health at risk due to poor understanding of the use of personal protection when applying crop protection products.

To solve these problems, CropLife Indonesia joined with AMARTA to implement farmer training programs on Good Agricultural Practices and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in North Sumatra. AMARTA is a three-year project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist the Government of Indonesia in developing a strong agribusiness sector, raising productivity and the quality of high-value export crops. In 2008, the program benefited 650 farmers in the Karo Regency, up from 625 a year earlier.

In these programs, farmers have learnt how to use crop protection products judiciously, thereby improving food safety, minimizing risks to human health and reducing negative impacts on the environment. In addition, once farmers learnt how to use the right amount of pesticides on their crops, they were able to reduce their expenditure on crop protection products. This not only translated into higher productivity and profitability for the farmers, but also meant that they were able to earn quality certificates and labels for their produce.

Dharta Sitepu and Delna Tarigan, a couple in their 40s, live in Seberaya in North Sumatra. Through plant science, teamwork, and dedication, their 0.75-hectare farm not only supports their family, but also serves as a vehicle to a better future. The couple grows coffee, green beans, rice and eggplant, with Sitepu splitting his time to run a small barbershop in the village.

The couple hopes to earn more money to expand their farm and grow other crops such as peppers and cloves. With higher incomes, they are also aiming to put their three children through higher education.

In these programs, farmers have learnt how to use crop protection products judiciously, thereby improving food safety, minimizing risks to human health and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

Access to effective crop protection products provides an efficient way to safeguard the yields the couple rely on. And thanks to training on the responsible use of pesticides offered by the CropLife Indonesia-AMARTA partnership, they now know how to use them to get the most out of their crops.

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Training Farmers in Best Practice in Sri Lanka

Millions of farmers in Sri Lanka struggle to deal with pest infestations, leading to low crop yields. In addition, a study in 2007 by the University of Peradeniya on the use of pesticides in southern Mahaweli found that about 35 percent of the 250 farmers surveyed have experienced adverse reactions to pesticides while spraying their crops. This is due to improper product use and application methods, as well as the lack of personal protection.

CropLife Sri Lanka has partnered with the Department of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and various local universities in promoting the judicious use of crop protection products to help farmers improve yields. The programs include training on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an environmentally friendly strategy to combat insect attacks.

Farmers learn about the secure storage of crop protection products in order to prevent accidental poisoning among humans and animals. Growers also learn about the importance of wearing protective clothing and equipment during handling and application to minimize exposure to the products.

In addition, trainers show farmers the gains to be made from choosing appropriate products to target specific pests and using the right dosage – eliminating waste and minimizing pesticide residue on their crops.

By tapping into training opportunities offered by CropLife Sri Lanka, farmer Piyasena Dayananda, 68, has learnt how to deal with disease and pest attacks on his rambutan and tomato crops through the judicious use of crop protection products. The result: healthier fruit, a rise in output and a higher income.

Dayananda, who owns a 10-hectare farm in Badulla, 120 km south of Colombo, used to grapple with mildew attacks on his rambutan crops, which reduced his harvest by half. In addition, blight attacks on his tomato crops also sparked losses of about 50 percent. The attacks caused stem lesions on his tomatoes and fruit rot.

It was a big problem for me. After I learnt how to use crop protection products properly, my annual income has averaged 3 million rupees ($26,116), up from 2 million rupees prior to training. Not only has production improved, my crops are bigger and fetch higher prices in the market.


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Improving Harvests Through Integrated Pest Management

Chili farmers in Andra Pradesh used to lose up to 40 percent of their harvest to pest infestations. With poor quality crops, farmers failed to secure high prices in the market. In addition, excessive use of crop protection products resulted in high pesticide residue levels in produce, compromising food safety and risking rejection for export.

Muvva Ramachandrao has grown chilies for more than 35 years in India’s Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. Yet, he struggled to protect his crops from disease and pests, losing up to 40 percent of his crop on average.

To solve the problem, CropLife India joined with the Department of Agriculture to implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs throughout the state. These training sessions are designed to help farmers identify plant diseases and insect infestations and decide on the type and quantity of pesticides to use according to instructions on the labels. IPM helps farmers cut costs, improve crop quality and add value to their harvest. The partners have trained some 1,400 farmers on IPM in villages across Guntur in the form of seminars, field training and field demonstrations.

After participating in CropLife India’s IPM program, Ramachandrao has learnt strategies to use even in the early stages of cultivation. In the past, he would liberally apply fertilizer to his crops – an often inefficient and unnecessary practice. Aiming to encourage improved habits, project officers tested his soil to see which nutrients it lacked. Now, Ramachandrao only has to purchase and apply fertilizers to provide the missing nutrients. He also discovered that treating his seeds with pesticides before sowing in the field saves five to six spray cycles. With these new practices, Ramachandrao’s family can now focus on other productive activities, instead of dedicating all of their time, money and energy to farming.

When his chilies started to look healthier, turning brighter in color, Ramachandrao realized that his new techniques were indeed successful. Soon, one of the biggest chili exporters in India began to buy directly from Ramachandrao’s farm – and he was soon getting premium prices for his harvest. This process was facilitated by a government institute at Kochi, set up by the Spices Board to test chilies for export quality.

With increased savings and improved earnings, chili farming has become profitable for Ramachandrao’s family. Becoming debt-free was only one of the many benefits.

Visit to learn more about work towards sustainable agriculture across the Asia Pacific region.

Harnessing Technology for Food Security

Ensuring food security in China, the world’s most populous nation, requires concerted efforts by the central and local governments as well as the private sector. From raising farm productivity to improving food safety, steering China’s millions of farmers towards agricultural technology is key in achieving self-sufficiency.

Since 2003, CropLife China has joined with the National Agri-Technical Extension and Service Center (NATESC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and multiple provincial plant protection stations to help farmers raise yields in a sustainable manner. Programs on sustainable agriculture include the responsible use of crop protection products, secure storage and environmental protection through the management of empty containers.

In Xinglong, in the province of Sichuan, the program is a unique partnership between the town government, plant protection stations run by agriculture departments, the local women’s farmer group and CropLife China. It covers an area of up to 2,000 mu, or 133 hectares, promoting pest prevention and control technologies including resistant varieties, cultivation methods, biodiversity and responsible use of pesticides.

Working with four other people, 40-year-old Wang Jian farms about a quarter of a hectare of land, including several greenhouses. He has participated in several training programs on responsible pesticide use. After 20 years of farming, he sees the difference effective crop protection products can make.

Now we use environmentally friendly and more effective pesticides, which cost less and increase our income.

To date, 100,000 farmers in areas such as Guanghan, Zengcheng and Shiping have benefited from the training. Each year, CropLife China and its partners also train some 80 doctors to identify, treat and prevent future cases of pesticide- related incidents.

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Farmer Outreach Boosts Crop Yields and Income

For millions of farmers in Bangladesh, increasing crop yields and boosting income is a struggle amid challenges such as lack of access to technology, post-harvest losses, financing and natural calamities. As most farmers know little about using crop protection products responsibly, pollution of the environment has been a common problem in rural Bangladesh.

Mizanur Rahman, the proud owner of an 8-hectare farm in Comilla in south-eastern Bangladesh, has been growing rice, potatoes and corn on his land for the last 10 years. However, like many other farmers in the region, Rahman used to struggle with low productivity, pest infestation, power outages and financing.

I was farming for 10 years, but I didn’t enjoy good yields until I attended a CropLife Asia training program two years ago

To improve farmers’ livelihoods in the country, the Bangladesh Crop Protection Association (BCPA) joined with CropLife Asia to educate farmers on increasing productivity through Good Agricultural Practices. In 2009, the partners aim to train 6,000 farmers in 120 villages nationwide, up from 5,000 in 100 villages a year earlier.

Developing farmers’ skills in the responsible use of pesticides has not only helped boost crop yields, but has reduced growers’ costs. Previously, farmers were spraying excessively, lacking knowledge in identifying specific pest infestations and choosing appropriate products.

After being trained, I applied pesticides more efficiently. This resulted in a 20 percent drop in expenses. At the same time, production rose 10 percent. My crops are also bigger and healthier these days, said Rahman.

For Rahman, training on how best to tap into new agricultural technology has boosted his income and living standards for his family. He can now afford to rent a house in Comilla town, 20 km away from his farm house in Shialdhair, so that his eldest daughter, 8, can save on an arduous daily commute to school. Rahman appreciates the many benefits training has brought him.

With knowledge from the training, not only has my income risen – I’m also contributing to food safety.

To expand outreach to Bangladesh’s more remote communities, BCPA screened documentary films on responsible product use practices. In addition, it distributed thousands of posters on judicious use of pesticides at BRAC community service centers nationwide. BRAC is an NGO committed to rural development. In Asia and Africa. Displaying these posters in BRAC centers throughout rural areas of the country has helped to generate greater awareness among farmers on responsible product use.

Visit to learn more about work towards sustainable agriculture across the Asia Pacific region.