Ho Van Chien, Southern Regional Plant Protection Center, Long Dinh, Tien Giang, Vietnam
M.M. Escalada, Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines
Nguyen Van Toan, Sub-Plant Protection Department, Long Xuyen, An Giang, Vietnam
The An Giang Plant Protection Department together with the An Giang provincial government developed an elaborate launching ceremony to kick off ecological engineering for pest management. This follows the Initiative launched by vice minister, Dr Bui Ba Bong in My Tho on September 10, 2010. Posters and banners decorated the district hall in Chau Thanh and after the vice chairman of An Giang Peoples’ Committee, Mr Huynh The Nang’s speech, a street parade led by outriders, a decorated van and 50 motor cycles with flags made the 10 kilometer journey to the demonstration fields. In the field 10,000 flower seedlings were planted by 300 volunteer students, farmers, technicians, politicians and guests.
Dr. K.L. Heong’s address at the launching program lauded Vietnam’s efforts in applying ecological engineering to effectively deal with their planthopper problem. In his speech, Mr Nang welcomed the ecological engineering (E-E) approach, locally known as Ruong Lua Bo Hoa (rice fields with flowers on bunds) and said this new approach will reduce farmers’ insecticide use by 3 to 4 sprays per season and increase farmers’ profits. In addition it will help protect rice fields (Bao Ve Ruong Lua), protect biodiversity and reduce vulnerability to rice planthopper attacks. The poster, leaflets, logo and slogans were developed in a message design workshop held in Long Xuyen in mid February 2011. In the next few weeks, thousands of leaflets and posters will be distributed to farmers and special broadcasts on radio and TV (See: Vinh Long TV episode ) will be held.
In closing, Dr Nguyen Huu Huan, Vice Director General of the Plant Protection Department, stressed the importance helping farmers to reduce insecticide use as these are the primary factors contributing to instability. A pre campaign survey of 550 farmer respondents from 11 districts has been completed. A management monitoring survey (MMS) will be conducted two months after the start of campaign implementation, to be followed by focus group discussion and a post campaign to determine effects of the campaign.