Project team trains first group of Jordan Valley farmers on plant protection
The main growing season for vegetables in Jordan Valley has started since one month. Especially in an early stage, crops can be vulnerable to pests and diseases. The local project team of Advance Consulting organized a first training day on plant protection for our partner farmers and their farm managers. The training was hosted at Mr. Yousef Abu Daie’s farm, one of the partner farmers in the project.
The purpose of the training was threefold:
- Identification of 3 main pests – thrips, white fly and Tuta Absoluta – as well as 3 common diseases – Botrythus, virus and mildew. The team focused on sweet pepper, cucumber and tomato as these are main crops for many farmers;
- Recognizing symptoms of damaged crops resulting from these pests and diseases;
- Underlining the importance of a ‘crop scout’ and how to organize the scouting procedure for pests and diseases on the farm;
These important activities for crop protection are ‘crop scouting’. Crop scouting means continuous identification of pests and diseases whereby the crop scout identifies pests and diseases in the crop and records the obtained information in a logbook. This can then be used to design and evaluate the crop protection strategy.
The Dutch and Jordanian agronomists of the project team showed real life examples of the main pests that were caught using sticky traps and pheromone traps. Farm managers and their workers inspected them with a magnifying glass. The project agronomists explained that insect traps can be used to monitor these pests. Participants were encouraged to start doing this too, just like the host of the event Mr. Yousef Abu Daie.
The second part of the training focused on recognizing symptoms on leaves, stems and fruits of crops that were infected by these pests and the main diseases, using live samples and photo materials. The final part of the training focused on how and when these pests and diseases should be treated.
The participating farmers learned that crop scouting may be a small investment but can pay enormous dividends. Farmers applying this monitoring strategy can start their crop protection strategy at an early stage and therefore have to spray less agro-chemicals, saving both money and labour costs.
As a nudge to start implementing the suggested strategy, farm owners and their managers received a clipboard with registration sheet for pests, a magnifying glass and four sticky traps to start monitoring the prevalence of pests in their greenhouses.
Responses from the participating farmers were positive and there was much enthusiasm to start implementing the crop scout monitoring strategy. A next training is scheduled mid-January for the same group of farm owners and their managers.