Ho Van Chien, Director, Southern Regional Plant Protection Center, Long Dinh, Tien Giang, and
M.M. Escalada, University Professor, Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines
Ecological engineering principles are being communicated to farmers through video is Vinh Long province. After the ecological engineering initiative was launched by vice minister Dr Bui Ba Bong in September last year, TV Vinh Long engaged a professional video company, Y Tuong Viet based in Ho Chi Minh City to produce a series of 52 episodes to educate farmers on ecological engineering. Based on entertainment-education concepts (Heong et al 2008) , each 15-minute episode has drama and scientific explanations. In the first episode the drama depicted a discussion between a farmer’s daughter and a neighbor farmer. She was asked by her father to plant flowers on the rice bunds and felt reluctant as she could not understand why. In the conversation the neighbor farmer tried to explain to her the reasons and the benefits.
In the second part of the episode the agricultural scientist came into the scene to explain how the nectar rich flowers would serve as resources for bees and hymenopteran parasitoids which provide protection to the rice crop from invading planthoppers.
In ecological engineering, locally known as “Cong Nghe Sinh Thai” farmers would refrain from using toxic insecticides that would kill the parasitoids and in doing so could benefit from reduced spray costs, reduce exposure to poisonous pesticides and the abundant availability of fish for dinner.
This first episode is available from THVL http://thvl.vn/?p=64101
The TV series known locally as “Ke Hay Nong Ngiep” (or new agricultural ideas) is on air once a week on Saturdays at 4:45 pm and repeated on Sunday at 1:10 pm. The episodes on ecological engineering will be broadcast over TV Vinh Long (THVL 1) for a year.
Heong , K.L., M.M. Escalada, N.H. Huan, V. H. Ky Ba, L.V. Thiet and H.V. Chien. 2008. Entertainment-Education and rice pest management: A radio soap opera in Vietnam. Crop Protection, 27, 1392-1397.