FFS results and Farmer’s Capacity Building
No of FFS conducted: Implementation of FFS has begun since October 2011 to introduce IPM to farmers as a sustainable strategy to crop production and protection.
From October 2011 to April 2015, 676 FFSs, 298 on wheat, 180 on melon, 61 on potato, and 120 on rice were conducted in 14 provinces of Afghanistan to improve the management capacity of farmers of these major crops.
No of Farmers trained: 16,900 farmers (farm households) participated in these FFSs, 7450 on wheat, 4,500 on melon, 1,525 on potato and 3,000 on rice, averaging 25 per FFS. However, the regular participant in each FF S was from 10-15. Considering 7 is average size of an Afghan farm family, 118,300 peoples including men, women and children benefited from this FFS training through increased yields, production and income.
Increased yields and incomes: Farmers applying the learning from FFS training have been able to improve their yields by 43% in wheat, 77% in melon, 28% in potato and 49% in rice.
However, average net return has increased at much higher percentage, from 56% in melon to 100% in wheat. This was possible because of significant reduction in production cost, mainly from chemical fertilizers and pesticides use.
IPM/FFS has now opened a new opportunity to boost the agriculture production in the country in a more practical manner, while almost doubling the household income from agriculture. The result presented here is based on the systemic records of detailed cost and return analysis of individual FFS plots. For more details…
Reduction in chemical pesticides use: Pesticides use such as insecticides and fungicides use in IPM/FFS FFS fields has been reduced to zero percent. Because of better plant growth there has been no need to use any pesticides in any of the four major crops mentioned above. Pesticide use has been promoted with a misunderstanding that it is an essential input for crop production.
Reduction in chemical Fertilizers use:
Chemical fertilizers use such as Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and urea use has been significantly reduced. A 50% reduction has been common to most FFS fields with substantial increase in yields. This was because of introduction of specific soil fertility improvement measures such as application of animal manure/compost, Indigenous Micro Organisms (IMOs), use of rotary weeders for weeding and increased aeration in the soil, changing water management practice from flooding to alternate drying (in rice) and use of mulch (in melon).
Improvement in Environment, human health and contribution to climate change adaptation: IPM promotes ecological practices of crop production. The technologies or the practices introduced to farmers have direct impact on environment, human health and climate change adaptation. The reduction in chemical pesticides and fertilizers use reported above are a direct contribution to improving the environment and human health. The stronger growth of plants resulting from the improved practices introduced in FFS is a practical means for plants to cope with the changing environment due to climate change. In a harsh environment in many places in Afghanistan where FFS has been conducted, FFS farmers have experienced no crop loss at all, while other farmers suffering crop loss.