Kukiat Soitong, Wantana Srirattanasak, and Pornsiri Saenakus
Rice Department, Bangkhen, Bangkok, Thailand
Floods affected rice production in most provinces in Central Thailand from October to early January 2012 preventing farmers from sowing. Many of the rice fields were submerged 1 or 2 meters for more than 2 months, damaging fruit trees, shrubs, rice and non rice habitats. The floods have subsided and farmers are beginning to sow their crops. In Chainat province, the crops are in the early stages while in Suphan Buri farmers are preparing to start sowing. The floods have brought about crop synchrony but have also destroyed natural enemies and their habitats. If farmers were to continue prophylactic insecticide sprays rice production in Central Thailand could once again be at risk to planthopper attacks to the levels of 2010. In March 2011, the Rice Department launched the sustainable planthopper management campaign to introduce ecological engineering principles. Implementation of ecological engineering intensified and in June 2011 together with the private sector, the government launched the ban of pest resurgence causing insecticides such as cypermethrin and abamectin for use in rice.
The Rice Department launched a 10 point action plan to reduce insecticide misuse, increase the adoption of ecological engineering and use of physical control methods to prevent the massive losses suffered in the last few years. The 10 point action plan is as follows:
- Develop 28 centers for promoting sustainable planthopper management.
- Training 200 farmers in providing early reporting of planthopper attacks.
- Develop 5 mobile unit vehicles equipped to diagnose, provide information and advice to farmers.
- Build and distribute 2000 giant light traps in 20 provinces to “trap out” planthopper adults.
- Mass produce and distribute 1,500 tons of rice seeds of 6 rice varieties with planthopper tolerance properties.
- Promote crop synchrony in at least 1.5 million rai.
- Intensify the “Stop use of abamectin and cypermethrin” campaign with private sector and provincial officials.
- Work with industry and the pesticide regulatory department to label 37 insecticides that are resurgence causing.
- Promote “no insecticide sprays in the first 40 days” to reduce insecticide use in the early crop stages.
- Develop demonstration sites of ecological engineering and upscale to 25 provinces.
A stakeholder workshop of 200 participants from plant protection units, extension, private sector and farmers was organized in Chainat on 13 January 2012 to launch the action plan. Strongly supported and declared open by the governor of Chainat, Khun Chamlong Phasuk, the sustainable planthopper management program will use Chainat province as a model, now known as the Chainat Model. In the “Stop the Use of Cypermethrin and Abamectin” campaign, provincial extension staffs will be charged with the tasks of material distribution and ensuring compliance among the retailers. Using the same approach, similar stakeholder workshops will be carried out in other provinces.
Further links to recent BPH infestation reports in Indonesia
Ecological engineering leaflets
SP IPM Innovation Brief # 15
Grain of Truth, Rice Today