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Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme in Africa
Photo: ©FAO/Olivier Asselin

The Integrated Production and Pest Management (IPPM) programme in Africa implements projects at national and regional level through partnerships with a variety of actors, including farmers’ organizations, NGOs and government agencies. The IPPM programme works with small-farming communities to improve productivity and livelihoods through environmentally sustainable practices.

Tanzania

Agriculture provides a living to around 80 percent of Tanzania's workforce. Most of the farmers in this country, of more than 49 million people, grow rainfed crops on small plots of land.

Although cereal production in 2013 topped the country's previous five-year average, unpredictable weather, poor infrastructure and the lack of new technologies continue to undercut productivity. The country's Kagera region, near Lake Victoria, reported acute food insecurity in 2013, after pests and plant disease put a serious dent in banana and cassava yields.

Tanzania's smallholder farmers also grow a number of cash crops. Cotton, for example, accounts for nearly a quarter of the country's total agricultural exports. Yet, farmers often grapple with poor access to good quality inputs, price volatility, and lack of organization of the value chain. Meanwhile, extension officers' technical know-how − from dealing with plant pests to using improved cropping methods to boost cotton production sustainably − is lacking.

IPPM programme in Tanzania

The IPPM programme in Tanzania, specifically focuses on cotton and has been active there since 2014. It is part of an implementation mechanism of the "Support Programme for the Consolidation of the Action Framework under the European Union-Africa Partnership on Cotton". It contributed to the Tanzania Cotton Board Corporate Strategic Plan to boost the healthy development of the sector and participates to the improvement of rural livelihoods and food security.

The programme aims to help smallholder farmers increase cotton production sustainably and improve household incomes. At the same time, it encourages farmers to reduce the use of pesticides - of which cotton is a major consumer - that can be harmful to human health and the environment and is taxing on farmers resources.

Since activities commenced, the IPPM programme has trained 30 facilitators (trainers of farmers) in Tanzania's western cotton-growing area. These facilitators, in turn, have set up pilot farmer field schools in their communities in order to share knowledge with local farmers. To date, the programme has trained 140 farmers, both women and men.

With support from the facilitator, farmers investigate how to solve their agricultural problems through field experiments. Over an entire cropping season, they test and compare agricultural practices and new technologies to see first-hand what works best for healthy crop growth – including the use of improved varieties, better plant management techniques to boost productivity and reduce pest incidence, and the use of biopesticides.

IPPM project in Tanzania

Partners

IPPM is working with various partners in Tanzania, including: Tanzania Cotton Board; Ukiriguru Research Institute; Plant Health Services and Extension services of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives; Alliance and Biosustain cotton ginning companies; district extension officers; Competitive African Cotton Initiative; and Tanzania Gatsby Trust.

FAO is grateful to the European Union for its continued support of the IPPM programme in Tanzania.