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Pest and Disease Management in Irrigated Maize and IPM Technology Transfer to Smallscale Farmers in Southern Mozambique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2011

Rinie van den Oever*
Affiliation:
Department of Plant Protection, National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), C.P. 3658, Maputo, Mozambique
Piet Segeren
Affiliation:
Department of Plant Protection, National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), C.P. 3658, Maputo, Mozambique
*
Corresponding author: RVDO.

Abstract

In the Eduardo Mondlane irrigation scheme in Chokwe, southern Mozambique, land had been allocated in 1983 to approximately 12000 farmers for growing rice (85%) and maize (15%). From the onset, maize production in the warm season was severely constrained by a number of pathogens and pests. During 1984–1988 a study on downy mildew, maize streak virus, stemborers and rodents, was carried out. This resulted in the formulation of a package of recommendations along lines of integrated pest and disease management, which was subsequently disseminated to farmers by the extension service. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of technology transfer, farmers were interviewed just before the new recommendations were disseminated (1988) and again two years after the start of the training and extension programme. Severe constraints in technology transfer to farmers were encountered due to the poor functioning of the extension service. It is concluded that improvements in communication and feedback mechanisms between farmers, extensionists and researchers and substitution of the prevailing ‘top-down’ training and extension methods by a ‘bottom-up’ approach are needed. In addition, rehabilitation and proper maintenance of the irrigation system and better land allocation to smallholders is required before research recommendations can be expected to work.

Résumé

Dans le Système d'Irrigation du District de Chokwe, au Mozambique, des terres ont été distribuées en 1983 à 12000 paysans pour la culture du riz (85%) et du maïs (15%). Dès le départ, le maïs a été sérieusement affecté par un certain nombre de pathogènes et ravageurs. Au cours de la période 1984–1988, un programme de recherche sur le mildiou, le virus de la striure, les foreurs de tige et les rongeurs a été éxecuté. Ceci a abouti à la formulation d'une série de recommendations dans le cadre de lutte intégrée contre les maladies et ravageurs, qui ont été ensuite diffusées chez les paysans par les services de vulgarisation. Afin d'évaluer l'efficacité de transfert de technologies, les paysans étaient interviewés tout juste avante la diffusion des nouvelles recommendations (1988), et puis deux ans plus tard, après que le programme de formation et de vulgarisation avait débuté. Beaucoup de difficultés rencontrées au niveau de la vulgarisation étaient dues à un fonctionnement défecteux des services de vulgarisation. On a conclu que des améliorations structurelles des mécanismes de communication et feedack entre les paysans et les vulgarisateurs sont nécessaires. La substitution des méthodes existantes d'amont en aval par celles d'aval en amont était nécessaire. De plus, la réhabilitation et l'entretien adéquat du système d'irrigation et une meilleure allocation des terres aux petits paysans étaient un préalable avant que les recommendations de la recherche ne puissent être opérationnelles.

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © ICIPE 1997

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References

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