Integrated Participatory Pest Management- Local Community Empowerment for Reducing Agricultural Pollution and Conserving Agro-Biodiversity
Project location:Garmsar, Semnan (Lat/Long:35.1893730-52.3498540)
Project Brief and Context
The Garmsar Plain is like a large oasis in the middle of the desert, and it acts as a shield, stopping the desert at the footsteps of Tehran. At the southern margins of the plain there is the Central Desert, which acts as the natural drainage of the Hableh Rood River and its modern irrigation system. Degradation of the fragile ecosystem in this plain, therefore, may have also consequences of national significance.

The Garmsar Plain produces a diversity of crops, ranging from wheat, barley, forage crops, garlic, and cotton to pomegranate, stone fruits, and melon, the latter being a main export commodity. The prevailing method in Iran for plant protection is the application of chemicals, which was introduced about sixty years ago to agriculture. Chemical use has resulted in decreasing the population of natural predators, which suppress pests in an un-polluted ecosystem. With the proposed IPM activity, the farmers shall revamp the biological balance of their fields through ecological control methods. There are about 600 animal farms in the plain, releasing effluents containing nitrates and many other pollutants. A great proportion of these pollutants are lost into the surface and groundwater resources of the plain. As IPM programmes usually lead to higher use of manure as an alternative to chemical fertilizers, there is a prospect for the proposed system to be even financially profitable for livestock farmers.

The sustainable IPM practices, promoted with the participation of the farmers' association, will contribute to the sustainable use of soil and water management in the plain. As it must be formulated based on the area-specific social and economic structures, however, an IPM approach cannot be promoted in a country without being successfully tested and applied in pilot areas. As such, the proposed project, if implemented successfully, will provide such a model besides directly addressing the environmental issues in the project area.

The project aimed to reduce the use of chemicals and other agricultural pollutants through integrated participatory pest management by the local community in the Plain of Garmsar. As a result the local community were encouraged towards sustainable management of the agro-ecosystem by promoting environmental friendly practices. The farmers of FASD were trained to make use of the suitable natural predators and beneficial biota for biological pest control.The farmers trained in this project organized and conducted ‘Farmer’ to ‘Farmer’ training workshops and study tours for farmers from neighboring villages. At the end, one workshop on site and another in Tehran was conducted to disseminate the experiences and lessons learned for the stakeholders and other NGOs. The best practices were documented as films, brochures and booklets.
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Project Snapshot

Garmsar Plain Farmers' Association & CENESTA
Area Of Work:
Multifocal Area
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 13,500.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 34,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Replication of project activities
Based on the feedback from the evaluation of all SGP projects in IPM, two series of thematic workshops were conducted by SGP’s networking project (IRA-G52-2004-040) in which a strong network has been formed including all IPM projects in the nation to allow them to share their experiences.
Policy Influence
This project is part of the SGP Iran IPM Thematic Cluster that is comprised of:
IRA-G52-‎‎2002-013 (Garmsar IPM),
IRA-G52-2002&2004-019 (Sooteh Rice IPM),
1RA-G52-‎‎2003-026 (Rudbar Rice IPM),
IRA-G52-2004-045 (Marketing “IPM Safe Products”)
‎IRA/05/17(65th) (Tarand IPM)
IRA/06/05 (72nd) (Sooteh IPM Demonstration ‎Site)
IRA/06/06(73rd) (Ezbaran IPM)‎
. The SGP Iran IPM Cluster as whole has been able to influence policy and create a network with the national IPM projects.
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