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Impact of IPM extension for smallholder farmers in the tropics

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In recent years, IPM extension came to mean FFS (farmer field school). Most studies of FFS pilot projects suggest that IPM helps farmers to lower costs or to increase yields, although the farmers pass on little of their new knowledge to their neighbours, which limits the cost-effectiveness of FFS. Some quantitative studies of FFS suggest that there is actually little overall impact of FFS programs. FFS may be better suited to stimulating collaborative research with farmers than for extension itself. In other words, FFS may help to perfect the extension message (the technology) which can then be communicated with other methods. There are many alternative extension methods available, although their impact needs further study. The challenge is to find methods that deliver quality and quantity messages (reaching a large audience with an appropriate, understandable message).

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Bentley, J. W. (2009). Impact of IPM extension for smallholder farmers in the tropics. In Integrated Pest Management (Vol. 2, pp. 333–346). Springer Netherlands.

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