In addition to the recent sad tidings arising from the Easter Sunday attacks, there is fortunately also good news from Sri Lanka. Around 25 local extension officers, farmers and growers in Peradeniya obtained their certificate integrated pest management, sustainable crop protection and food safety aspects after successfully completing a short training.
The tailor-made training, requested by Department of Agriculture and Ministry of Primary Industries in Sri Lanka, was a cooperation with In-Service Training Institute (ISTI) in Gannoruwa, Kandy. The course was developed to assist the public (Good Agricultural Practices consultants) and private stakeholders (extension officers) and other participants to improve their attitude, knowledge and skills to train or advice, as well in theory as well in practice, in Integrated Pest Management, Sustainable Crop Protection and Food Safety aspects.
The course entailed a mix of lectures, discussions, group work, practical training, excursions, fieldwork and assessment. The emphasis was how to prevent pests and diseases. Prevention goes before pest control, and should be implemented before the pest becomes harmful.
Among others, the topics addressed in the workshops included:
- Keep the plant healthy – Growing conditions for prevention of diseases
- Integrated Pest management - Curative measurements
- Techniques & Equipment
- Environmental aspects
- Train the trainers aspects and didactical methodologies
In-Service Training Institute Gannoruwa is a national in-service training institute and belongs to the Department of Agriculture in Sri Lanka. The primary objectives of the in-service training are to keep the field extension staff updated on new developments in agricultural technologies to raise their professional competence and to continue educating them to cope with changing conditions and needs in agricultural production and development. Introduction training, refresher training and pre-seasonal training are the common types of trainings usually conducted at these training institutes.