Gabriele Stoll
Natural Crop Protection in the Tropics
Letting Information Come to Life
Key objectives of this book

• The most important objective of this book is to contribute to increasing the significance, recognition and appropriate support for natural crop protection for the benefit of smallholders and practitioners of sustainable and organic agriculture.

• A second objective is to contribute to clarifying the nature of natural crop protection strategies. These are no backward looking practices. They are composed of traditional, local and scientific knowledge systems, each enriching the other. Successful application requires both a sound understanding and the skills needed to manage these knowledge systems in the complex systems which farms are.

• This book attempts to link information with approaches and methodologies for making information come to life by presenting both technical information and case studies. In these case studies successful approaches and methodologies are presented, showing how information has come to life and innovation has been stimulated. Key factors that contributed to success are elaborated in order that an understanding of them may help adoption – and adaptation of the approaches and methodologies to different circumstances.

• Research still is not contributing fully to the development of natural crop protection – both from the perspective of natural sciences as well as from that of systems thinking, which includes social and economic sciences. However, compared to 10 years ago, there is more openness and there is an increasing number of individual examples. Research should continue along this path, particularly in the interests of enhancing key knowledge and of assisting local research institutions in adopting systems-oriented and participatory approaches and methodologies. The case studies may provide some inspiration along this track.

• At the individual level, it is hoped that this book will contribute to providing farmers and their advisors with the experience and confidence needed to make the best use of the resources available to them. Ultimately this will lead to increasing self-confidence and pride in their capabilities and to more sustainable farming practices.