Pakistan, 10-16 July 2000
FAO organized a seven day national training course in the Sindh region of south-eastern Pakistan on Desert Locust survey and control.
Eighteen participants, mainly locust and plant quarantine officers of the Department of Plant Protection, plus four observers attended the course.
The purpose of the course
During the course programme, participants practiced using maps, compass and GPS. They gained experience in calibrating handheld and vehicle-mounted equipment. They had the opportunity to practice different survey and control techniques under field conditions against artificial locust hopper bands.
Pre- and post-course assessments measured trainee progress and trainer effectiveness, suggesting an average improvement in this case of about 36%.
The purpose of the course was to introduce the basic concepts of survey and control using a participatory style approach consisting of presentations, demonstrations, practical hands-on exercises in the classroom and in the field, and general discussions. Lectures were kept to a bare minimum. Trainees were encouraged to actively participate by working in four small groups.
Keith Cressman (FAO) led the survey portion of the course and Hans Dobson (NRI) did the control. Both trainers have been organizing and doing such courses in locust affected countries for the past ten years.
The course was funded by the FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia.
Mirpurkhas is a small town in the eastern Indus Valley about 4 hours from Karachi. Field exercises were conducted in nearby areas and in the Khipro desert about 60 km to the north-east. (red dots)