"Agricultural Evolution through Integrated Pest Management?
A comparative perspective from Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam"

Dr. Yunita T. Winarto, CSEAS Visiting Fellow
15:00-17:00, October 27 (Mon), 2003
E207, East Building of CSEAS
The Integrated Pest Management program produced a significant change in the
farming culture in Indonesia where it was introduced in 1990s. The program
aimed to shift the farmers' paradigm in growing food crops 'with pesticides'
into growing a 'healthy crop' on the basis of an agro-ecosystem analysis.
Not only a prominent change in knowledge and strategies has occurred among
the IPM farmers, but also farmers' empowerment in decision-making and
self-governance. "Farmers` Science" (Sains Petani) has been developed
elsewhere on the basis of their needs and problems. Even though the
formation of an `IPM culture` among various farming communities is still
underway, there is an indication of an evolutionary change within farmers`
knowledge and practices. On the other hand, some internal and external
constraints affected farmers` efforts in implementing and disseminating the
new farming knowledge and strategies.

The introduction of the similar program in Asian countries, including Cambodia and Vietnam in 1990s also leads to a similar result, e.g. enhancing farmers` knowledge and improving farming practices. However, different countries, agricultural conditions, policies, and cultures-to some extents-may lead to differences in the ways the program was implemented, or on the advancement the farmers experienced. My paper will examine the extent to which similarities and differences occur among rice farmers in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam after learning IPM; what the contextual factors contributing to such similarities and differences are; and to what extent an evolutionary change does occur within farmers` knowledge and practices. A discussion of the comparative method and conceptual tools that could enrich the human ecological research and analysis in Southeast Asian region will also be presented.
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