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An In-Depth IPM and Environmental Education for Limited-Resource Farmers in Rural Mississippi

Investigators
Chukwuma, Franklin
Institutions
Alcorn State University
Start date
2011
End date
2014
Objective
This project is designed to educate extension agents, students, small farmers and mentor farmers by increasing their knowledge and understanding of IPM systems. Therefore the objectives of this project are to: (1) Enhance knowledge, skills, experience, and to improve attitudes of the target audience concerns regarding IPM-based agriculture. (2) Establish on-farm demonstrations to display appropriate sustainable IPM practices for different cropping system to stimulate hands-on education. (3) Expand the scope of IPM training module via an interactive video/teleconference for project participants who cannot attend workshop/training meeting due to time conflict.

Evaluation of the results will be done by using questionnaire surveys, self reporting, observation, and follow-up calls to the target audience. Findings will be shared with other institutions and governmental agencies, made available to small farmers through extension agents, conferences, eXtension, field days and be presented at series of professional meetings, workshops and also published in refereed journals.

More information
Non-Technical Summary:
Maintaining high level of agricultural productivity and profitability while reducing synthetic chemical pesticide use, presents a significant challenge. Therefore, proper care and maintenance of agricultural productivity requires knowledge that emphasize not only cultural and biological controls as the main defense against pests but include the judicious use of synthetic chemical pesticides. This knowledge begins with Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is an integrated approach of crop management to solve ecological problems when applied in agriculture. A key need for IPM development and adoption is to create public awareness and understanding of IPM, including health, environmental, and economic impacts, through education programs. This project is designed to educate extension agents, students, small farmers and mentor farmers by increasing their knowledge and understanding of IPM systems. Therefore the objectives of this project are to: (1) Enhance knowledge, skills, experience, and to improve attitudes of the target audience concerns regarding IPM-based agriculture. (2) Establish on-farm demonstrations to display appropriate sustainable IPM practices for different cropping system to stimulate hands-on education. (3) Expand the scope of IPM training module via an interactive video/teleconference for project participants who cannot attend workshop/training meeting due to time conflict. Evaluation of the results will be done by using questionnaire surveys, self reporting, observation, and follow-up calls to the target audience. Findings will be shared with other institutions and governmental agencies, made available to small farmers through extension agents, conferences, eXtension, field days and be presented at series of professional meetings, workshops and also published in refereed journals.

Approach:
Objective 1: To enhance knowledge, skills, experience, and to improve attitudes of the target audience concerning IPM-based agriculture; the training sessions will include distribution of curriculum kits and supplemental materials to trainees. The IPM curriculum will be introduced during the training sessions. Lesson content will include the following: Focus areas, Essential questions and understandings,Vocabulary introduced in each lesson, Materials provided include: handouts, supplements, videos, books, posters, etc. Systems approach to IPM such as integration of biological, mechanical, cultural and chemical control, and significance of biodiversity. Involvement activities will include Assessments, Follow up activities and follow through projects for more in-depth coverage of the curriculum lessons. Objective 2: To establish site-specific demonstrations on extension/research farms and participating farmers locations to display appropriate sustainable IPM practices for different cropping systems to stimulate hands-on education events for farmers and other members of the agricultural community. The on-farm demonstration plots will be established for outdoor hands-on experiential learning at the ASUEP demonstrations sites located in Preston, East MS, Model Farm located in Lorman Southwest MS and Mound Bayou, Northwest MS. Objective 3: To expand the scope of IPM training module for project participants who cannot attend workshop/training meeting due to time conflicts via an interactive video/teleconference and development of educational resources. We plan to expand the scope of the IPM training module to reach our target audience who cannot attend regular meeting due to time conflicts.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
MISX-2011-02598
Accession number
226813
Categories
Education and Training
Pesticide Residues
Chemical Contaminants