Ho Van Chien, Southern Plant Protection Center, Long Dinh, Vietnam
First launched by the vice minister, Dr Bui Ba Bong, on September 10, 2010, ecological engineering methods have now spread to several other provinces. In March 2011 a large campaign was launched by the vice chairman where he coined the slogan Ruong Lua Bo Hoa (rice fields with flowers on bunds). Vinh Long province developed a TV video that was broadcast all over the Mekong. They are now planning to develop another 10 episodes for broadcast.
The term “Cong Nhe Sinh Thai” is now gaining popularity among rice farmers and the agricultural sector with the ecological engineering concepts explained in local newspaper articles by Professor Nguyen Van Huynh and the increased campaign activities by the provincial governments. To further enhance awareness of “Cong Nhe Sinh Thai” the Southern Plant Protection Center is initiated a program with women organizations to increase women participation which will be launched on March 8, 2012 on “International Women’s Day”.
Ecological engineering has now been launched in Tieng Giang, An Giang, Vinh Long, Can Tho, Ben Tre, Long An and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, covering well over 1,200 ha and involving more than 1,300 farmers. In ecological engineering fields, parasitoid and natural enemy densities increased, farmers reduced their insecticide inputs by about 50% and enjoy similar or even higher yields. The reduced insecticide inputs has increased farmer income by about US$ 45 to 145 per ha per season (from 900,000VND to 2,900,000 VND).
In addition, biological control ecosystem services have been restored as indicated by the increase in natural enemies. In particular the mirid bug, Cyrthorhinus , was significantly higher in ecological engineering fields. Mirid bugs are important predators of planthopper eggs embedded in the rice sheath tissues. Similar observations were also obtained in Tien Giang, Thailand and China.