New skills and farmer training cut toxic pesticide use in West Africa

Partipants in an FAO farmer field school near Fana, Mali, examine cotton plants for signs of pests.

Tens of thousands of cotton farmers in Mali have been able to drastically reduce their use of toxic pesticides by 90 per cent through training on alternative methods of pest control, according to a new FAO study.

Poor yields in the West Africa Region often result from a lack of knowledge of soil management, poor choice of seeds and the frequent use of highly toxic pesticides, the study revealed.

Farmers who train at Farmer Field Schools (FFS) learn new skills and explore their own set of "good agricultural practices".

William Settle, a Project Manager in FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division spoke to Sandra Ferrari about some of the conclusions which came as a result of this programme.

Duration: 2'52''

 

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