The integrated pest management (IPM) programme trains farmers on how to take independent, well-informed crop production and management decisions.
This is achieved primarily through participatory, season-long, farmer field schools that help farmers and extensionists to work together to understand better what goes on in the fields. Until now, most attention has primarily focused on the yield increases and reduction in production costs resulting from IPM. This study examines the social impact of IPM field schools in the Office du Niger irrigation scheme in Mali, during the 1999-2000 seasons. It also makes some interesting observations regarding the impact of IPM field schools in improving technical knowledge, changing the attitudes and behaviour of farmers and extensionists, and in simulating increased collective self-help action.