Ho Van Chien
Director, Southern Regional Plant Protection Center
Long Dinh, Tien Giang, Vietnam
One hundred and twenty farmers and plant protection officials attended a field day organized by the Plant Protection Department to demonstrate the ecological engineering techniques being used in Cai Be. Among the officials were Dr Nguyen Huu Huan, Vice Director general of Plan Protection Department, Mr Nguyen Van Nha, cice chairman of the Tien Giang Peoples’ Committee and 22 agricultural officials from 22 provinces. The crop of the 30 hectares of rice in the ecological engineering site was at the flowering stage and no insecticide application had been used.
Pests were at its minimum and virus disease infections were very low. One ecological engineering technique farmers in the site practiced was the “escape strategy” where farmers use light trap catches to determine their sowing dates to synchronize planting after the peak BPH migrations to avoid virus infections. Another technique farmers used was establishing bunds with flowering plants to serve as resource for natural enemies. Yellow pan trap and sticky board traps showed that there was marked difference in natural enemies in the ecological engineering site compared with the control. The area’s vulnerability to hopperburn had been reduced from such practices. The data collection is being continued for further analysis.
The main benefits of farmers participating in the ecological engineering demo were savings from unnecessary insecticide use, low pest infestations and good yields.