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.

Participatory training programme on integrated production and pest management (IPPM) through farmer field schools in West Africa

For more than a decade FAO has been helping farmers in West Africa reduce the use of chemical pesticides, while intensifying production and boosting yields sustainably through improved cropping practices. This initiative was introduced by FAO in 2001 as the "Sub-Regional Participatory Training Project on Integrated Production and Protection Management through farmer field schools” (GCP/RAF/378/NET) in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal and ran until 2006. It was the first major project to use a farmer field school (FFS) approach in West Africa. A subsequent second phase ran as a programme from 2006 to 2011 (GCP/RAF/009/NET) and added Benin to the already established countries.

Through the non-formal, community-based learning environment of the FFS, farmers learned to experiment, observe and discuss a full range of farming techniques alongside a facilitator, whose role was to introduce new ideas through guided exercises and stimulate discussion and promote adaptation and adoption of improved practices.

Sustainable intensification through IPPM / FFS activities

The IPPM programme helped farmers and extensionists in West Africa become aware of the negative consequences that arise from poorly adapted management methods, such as highly toxic pesticide use and lack of balanced fertilization and, at the same time, introduced them to the many positive, feasible alternative management methods that are both sustainable and profitable.

A total of 22 800 farmers were trained through IPPM activities during the first phase and 97 394 during the second phase. IPPM training models were developed for a wide variety of crops, including rice, cotton, sesame, mango, etc. To reach this goal, 2 600 candidates were trained as FFS facilitators, more than one third of them women.

The programme had a high rate of success in decreasing toxic pesticide use, improving soil fertility and encouraging farmers to use good quality seed, thereby increasing their yields and reducing production costs. It also strengthened farmer organizations, fostering greater social cohesion, and helped farmers to improve their marketing skills. This project formed the foundation for a diversity of projects based on the FFS approach in West Africa.


FAO worked closely with numerous partners in the four countries, namely: Organisation béninoise pour la promotion de l’agriculture biologique (Benin); Direction générale des productions végétales, Directions régionales ou provinciales de l’agriculture, de l’hydraulique et des ressources halieutiques, Institut de l’environnement et de recherches agricoles and Centre régional de l’environnement et de recherches agricoles de Farakoba (Burkina Faso); Directions nationale et régionales de l’appui au monde rural, Office du Niger, Office de développement rural de Sélingué, Office du périmètre irrigué de Baguinéda et Compagnie malienne de développement des textiles (Mali); Centre de recherches en écotoxicologie pour le Sahel CERES/Locustox (Senegal); and producer organizations, non-governmental organizations and other partners.

FAO is grateful to the Government of the Kingdom of The Netherlands for its financial support spanning both phases.