Sustainable agriculture, but how to deal with pests?
Increased environmental awareness as well as concerns about safe food, has led to a need for sustainable agricultural production systems. Good agricultural practices and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) have become essential components of sustainable agriculture. The integration of various control measures, with minimal use of pesticides, ensures that pests remain below the economic threshold. The IPM approach limits the negative side effects pesticides can have on the environment as well as on occupational & public health.
The challenge of combining pesticide use and ensuring safe food
In recent decades, consumers have become increasingly concerned about the safety and quality of their food. The public and private sectors in the North have quickly responded with measures resulting in public and private standards to meet requirements for food safety and quality. Applying IPM principles ensures that pesticide residues in food are below the maximum residue limits.
How to make IPM work in practice
While technical solutions towards controlling pests are plentiful in practice, the application of IPM is still a struggle for many farmers. Appropriate implementation of Good Agricultural Practices and IPM for food safety and international market access, requires supportive and enabling policies and institutions. This can be achieved through multi-stakeholder processes with the aim to develop enabling IPM and/or pesticide-related policies and supportive institutional innovations.
Learning through experience
The course will use a mix of lectures, discussions, group work, excursions and field work with the aim to expose you, as far as possible, to all aspects of integrated pest management and pesticide related food safety issues. Meeting course colleagues from other countries but similar interests leads to exchange of experiences and mutual learning.
Courses are currently online
Our courses are currently online and follow this format:
- Pre-course assignments for you to get to know WCDI and for us to get to know your work environment and your expectations in relation to the course;
- Interactive plenary sessions where we share contents, review assignment and facilitate exchanging experiences. During those interactive sessions we work with a number of online tools like Google Jamboard, Mural and Mentimeter;
- Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;
- Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do excercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. These assignments are reviewed either by peers or facilitators.
In some, but not all, courses we go on virtual field visits – showing you ‘live’ situations in the field, or with companies or organizations that we collaborate with. We offer coaching trajectories where we support you one-on-one or in small groups to review your individual learning paths in the course and help with any basic questions you may have.
Online platforms: zoom and TalenLMS
Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. Not sure about the connection in your area? Send firstname.lastname@example.org an e-mail about your situation.
We use Zoom as a facilitating platform for all our online courses. Our courses take place in general over a 6-8 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable.
Our online learning system is TalentLMS. Everything you need — our course programme, chatrooms, assignments, background information are in this system. TalentLMS is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone and has an on-and offline functionality. We even organize a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.
Course planning and certificates
The courses workload is approximately 16-20 hours a week (2-2.5 workdays).
The exact data of your course will be available 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the course. If you’ve successfully completed your course we send you a digital certificate.