A participatory farming system approach for sustainable broomrape (Orobanche spp.) management in the Near East and North Africa
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Mathew Abang, Bassam Bayaa, B Abu-Irmaileh, Amor Yahyaoui. (1/12/2007). A participatory farming system approach for sustainable broomrape (Orobanche spp. ) management in the Near East and North Africa. Crop Protection, 26 (12), pp. 1723-1732.
Broomrapes (Orobanche spp.) are aggressive and damaging parasitic weeds which have a tremendous impact on agriculture in East Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. Despite the availability of technologies to control broomrapes in economically important crops, Orobanche infestation continues to increase, threatening the livelihoods of millions of farmers. Many of the technologies developed have not been effectively disseminated and there has been little or zero adoption by farmers-who continue to use ineffective management practices that exacerbate the problem. The adaptation and dissemination of appropriate management practices are major priorities in broomrape control. However, such work must take into consideration the specific socio-economic characteristics of individual farming systems. Orobanche is a community threat and effective management requires a community-based integrated management approach. Recognizing the central role of farmers in parasitic weed management, a technical cooperation project (TCP) involving FAO, ICARDA and seven countries in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region was implemented to improve the dissemination of knowledge and skills by using a farmer field school approach: a form of education that uses experiential learning methods to build farmers' expertise. This paper reviews conventional Orobanche research and development approaches, and highlights weaknesses in the management of the parasitic weed using these approaches as opposed to participatory approaches. The benefits and challenges of participatory farming system approaches in relation to integrated broomrape management (IBM) are also discussed. Lessons learned from achieving community ownership of, and institutional support for, IBM could be applied to other sectors (e.g. public health) in which there is a need for institutional learning and reform. Recommendations are made that include regional collaboration within the framework of a proposed Near East and North Africa Orobanche Management Network (NENAOMAN).
- Agricultural Research Knowledge