Planning an IPM Demonstration Project to Help Improve Water Quality and the Environment in the West Bank and Gaza
Investigators (most current known information)
This report summarizes baseline data about farms and farmers who produce tomatoes and cucumbers under greenhouse and open field production systems in selected areas of the West Bank and Gaza. It includes information on farmer and household characteristics, farm size, production practices and basic information about pest management practices, especially pesticide use, for tomatoes and cucumbers produced in three agro-ecological zones of the West Bank and Gaza. There were 101 respondents included in this descriptive study.
Major Findings Related to the Proposed IPM Demonstration Project
- There is excessive use of agro-chemicals by farmers in the West Bank and Gaza, both in terms of open field and greenhouse production systems. Excluding the use of methyl bromide, which is regularly used as a soil sterilant prior to planting (commonly utilized at the rate of 50 kilograms/dunum [kg/dm] or 500 kg/hectare [ha]), the average use of agro-chemicals (active ingredients per growing season) was determined to be 65.5 kg/ha for greenhouse tomatoes, 38.7 kg/ha for greenhouse cucumbers, 74.6 kg/ha for open field tomatoes, and 27.7 kg/ha for open field cucumbers. The frequency of agro-chemical applications per season was found to be 65 sprays for greenhouse tomatoes, 38 sprays for greenhouse cucumbers, 44 sprays for open field tomatoes, and 24 sprays for open field cucumbers.
- While the use of agro-chemicals is extremely high, at the same time, there is extensive variability in farmers' input use. This variability in production and pest management practices appears to result from the absence of an effective research and extension system that can develop and disseminate cost-effective and environmentally sound technology. In effect, farmers are making production and pest management decisions, largely through trial and error, based on untested information recommended by input dealers, other farmers, and from other groups, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the same time, however, elements of IPM technologies for different types of vegetable production are already available in the region; therefore, there are immediate opportunities to test, demonstrate, and disseminate these IPM technologies to farmers that would likely result in the rapid and dramatic reduction agro-chemical use in the West Bank and Gaza.
- In considering the development of an IPM demonstration project, it should be noted that the greenhouse production of cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as many other vegetable crops, will become the predominant production systems in the West Bank and Gaza. This transition will occur simply because greenhouse production systems make the most efficient use of water and land resources. In addition, these systems are best suited for IPM technology; therefore, they have the greatest potential to reduce the rate of environmental degradation in the region, with its concomitant effects on water quality. However, for farmers to adopt and utilize these more intensive production systems, including IPM technology, they will need systematic training and backstopping from an effective research and extension system.
No outcomes reported