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Vietnam Women Rice Farmers Plant Flowers to Reduce Insect Control Costs
22.03.2013

Some women rice farmers in Vietnam have saved about 42% of their insect control cost by planting flowers around the paddy fields as a part of the joint efforts by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to promote ecological engineering in rice farming.

According to the IRRI, about 200 women from the Tien Giang province in Vietnam were introduced to ecological engineering in March 2012. The participants were asked to grow nectar-producing flowers around paddy fields which attract bees and other insects that are natural predators of insects that attack rice plants. The practice not only maintains the ecological diversity of the farms, but also results in significant reduction in insect control costs, said IRRI.

An official from the IRRI said that ecological engineering reduced the farmers’ insecticide use by 21.6% and their spending for insect control decreased about 41.6%. IRRI scientist Dr. K.L. Heong says that in the long term farm households can save up to $50 – $100 per season by reducing insecticide inputs without any decline in production of rice.

In 2012-13, about 505 women farmers have been trained in ecological engineering, according to IRRI.

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