Developing IPM for shallots in East Java

Client: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Project delivery period: 2015-2016

In 2015 IPM Technologies and two agencies of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched a project in East Java to develop and demonstrate IPM for shallots.

An initial scoping study had been conducted by IPM Technologies in 2014. The study identified that insecticide use amongst shallot farmers in East Java was extremely high and yet damage from insecticide resistant pests was so severe that total crop losses were common. Farmers were typically spraying every 2-3 days, applying a total of between 90 and 150 insecticides per crop, but they were often unable to control the key pest (a caterpillar called beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua).

In 2015 and 2016 Paul Horne and Jessica Page from IPM Technologies worked with shallot farmers to develop and demonstrate a viable IPM strategy that gave better control of pests, using only a fraction of the insecticide inputs previously applied. Over 1,500 farmers from several regions have accessed training in the new method and now apply it successfully.

A trial involving over 130 farmers was conducted in 2016 to assess changes in productivity, production costs and farmer income. The results of this trial were:

  • a productivity increase of 31% for the treatment group, compared to the control group;
  • a 32% reduction in the cost of production for the treatment group; and
  • a 78% increase in net incomes (all revenues minus all costs).

This project was conducted in several locations in East Java (near Probolinggo and Pare) and was funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via the aid project PRISMA.