IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Club
British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB)
“IPM club project has been commenced to popularize the concept of non-chemical alternatives to pest management and to protect the environment from pollution. In addition, the IPM club approaches empower the farmers for a better and profitable future through sustainable and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).”
INTRODUCTIONBritish American Tobacco Bangladesh (BAT Bangladesh, BATB, the Company) believes that the business has a key role to play in helping the society achieve the necessary sustainable balance of economic growth, environmental protection and social progress in ways that will build value for all of its stakeholders. IPM (Integrated Pest Management) club is one of the best projects commenced by BATB towards its sustainable journey.
IPM club project has been commenced to popularize the concept of non-chemical alternatives to pest management and to protect the environment from pollution. In addition, the IPM club approaches empower the farmers for a better and profitable future through sustainable and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). This project has been undertaken for engaging the farming community and to bring around 34,000 farmers within the scopes of IPM Club in 15 big districts out of 64 districts of Bangladesh. The most remarkable outcomes of this project are minimum residual effect as well as health and environmental protection from pollutions.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYBATB established the first IPM Club in 2005 and has been running Farmers Field School (FFS) in these IPM clubs in partnership with Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) of Ministry of Agriculture. The club is led by a committee comprising of BATB representatives and local leading tobacco farmers. IPM Club focuses on eco-friendly pest control, soil fertility, water management, biodiversity etc. DAE personnel helps to conduct the training sessions to provide macro-agricultural knowledge to the farmers.
IPM Club project is intensely integrated with BATB’s philosophy, business, product and stakeholders. The most integrated fact of IPM Club is related to producing and harvesting a safer product – good quality tobacco leaf free from agrochemical residues. In addition, IPM club is very close to the farming communities as this is the platform which is not only a school for them, but also a cozy place for them to spend their leisure time. They associate and socialize with each other and have discussions on crop related best practices, weather, economy, biodiversity etc. This project contributes in changing the socio-scopes of farming communities.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTIPM clubs are in the center of many best practice diffusions such as bird perch, pheromone trap, Trichoderma as biocontrol agent, green manuring, composting, polytube irrigation etc. These approaches are not only useful for tobacco cultivation, but also for other major crops like rice, vegetables etc. Over the last 7 years, BATB farmers have reduced chemical pesticides use per hectare by 18%. Farmers get weekly weather forecast through IPM club that helps for early preparedness to protect their crops. They are also provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safe use of agrochemicals. Every year, BATB establishes 11 new IPM clubs, organizes 11 FFS Sessions and distributes 1000 units of Agrochemical Boxes along PPE sets free of cost.
After successful completion of all FFS sessions, the participants receive a certificate jointly signed by the Director of Plant Protection of DAE and BATB- Head of Leaf Operations. These certified farmers act as trainers for other farmers of his community. This project contributes in changing the socio-scopes of farming communities and leads to a better livelihood & sustainable agriculture. It is directly aligned with Bangladesh Government’s agenda in terms of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
FUTURE DIRECTIONThis project is one of the vital facilitator of the business sustainability considering its integration with the business, product and stakeholders. Therefore, it was selected as a prospective one to continue considering the strengthened relationship with the farming communities and their agronomic advancement. The project has been expanded to different locations of BATB’s operational territories and BATB further plans to take this project into a new dimension by tailoring its structure and curriculum. This journey will continue to meet the future expectations towards sustainability.
British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) is a part of BAT plc, the world’s leading tobacco group, with brands sold in around 200 markets around the world. The Company is a stock exchange ‘enlisted company’ managing a diversified portfolio of shareholders.