Expected outputs from OPTIONs
Output 1: Evaluation, formulation and revision of Science and Technology policies through multi-stakeholder pan-African networks on pesticidal plants.
Results: Three policy papers/documents produced outlining opportunities and hurdles to up scaling the use of optimised pesticidal plant technologies in livestock; One inception meeting for partners to establish responsibilities and detailed plan of the action; three annual meetings of OPTIONS partnership; three additional meetings including the inception meeting for partners: three national level network meetings hosted by country coordinators: OPTIONs project website built; International Society of Pesticidal Plants established.
Output 2: Sustainable production of pesticides through commercialised propagation and cultivation.
Results: At least 50 scientists or nursery growers per country in three countries trained in propagation and innovative application technologies of at least 4 indigenous pesticidal trees and shrubs per country; Delivery of 10 local training workshops & 1 national training workshop per country completed.; 40,000 trees planted by 4,000 farmers located in 3 countries; Parameters (altitude, soil type.) for Pyrethrum propagation optimised for Malawi and Zimbabwe; Harvesting protocols and optimised preparations at least for 8 pesticidal plant species; Project partners and trainees informed about Convention on Biological Diversity and intellectual property issues relating to indigenous materials.
Output 3: Science and Technology Innovations for safer and more effective application of pesticidal plants developed and promoted to farmers.
Results: Elite materials pesticidal plant materials identified for 10 species through analysis and biological evaluations; Application technologies for 4 plant species for control of cattle ticks on livestock developed and promoted to farmers; Safe handling methodologies and improved application protocols developed for use of pesticidal plants on stored food products; Parameter profiles for 4 pesticidal plant species determined to understand sensitivity to factors that change with climate.
Output 4: Communication and dissemination platform for pesticidal plant knowledge.
Results: OPTIONS network forum initiated for communication among partners and to the wider community; up to 8 papers published in scientific journals; International conference hosted in Year 3
The proposed activities
Activities have been divided into 4 work packages (WPs) which address the themes stated in the expected results of the log frame. These are WP1 Management, Monitoring and Evaluation; WP 2: Policy and regulations review: Formulation, revision of policies, regulations and technical instruments for change and the role of financial incentives to facilitate the widespread uptake and use of pesticidal plant technologies in Africa; WP 3: Strengthening of capacities of government agencies, research institutions and private sector in pesticidal plant STI through collaborative outreach programmes, workshops and training; WP4: Dissemination and outreach: promotion of STI, awareness raising and improving access to information. WPs are described in detail below.
Work package title WP 1: Management, Monitoring and Evaluation
Lead partner UoG-NRI overall project management
Involved partners All partners will be responsible for individual activity and financial reporting to the lead partner
- Coordinate all activities among partners
- Ensure timely reporting to the ACP S&T programme as instructed at the project outset
- Ensure all activities are carried out to time and to budget.
- Implement communication strategy for project outputs
- Design and deliver participatory M & E
- External Advisory Board assembled.
- The project will develop policy guidelines that are valid nationally and internationally to promote the propagation, cultivation and sustainable use of pesticidal plants and strategies to commercialise these materials at the farmer and SME level for wealth generation and poverty alleviation.
- International conference hosted in one of the key African partner countries with proceedings published in international journals.
- Development of a pesticidal plants database with detailed application procedures, collection and handling criteria and protocols for propagation published in open access form on the internet. This will be particularly directed at nursery growers and farmers but provide level of detail that will enable those not formerly trained to know how to propagate selected species.
- Multidisciplinary taskforces established on identified knowledge gaps
- Establishment of an International Pesticidal Plants Society.
- Farmer and NGO workshops held to inform the wider community about the use of pesticidal plants.
Project size, complexity and level of integration/interdependency among different project actions require strict delivery and adherence to project timelines. Partners must work together to achieve project outputs. A major factor in the successful deliverance of such a large and multi-stakeholder project will require daily management and communication to and among partners.
Description of work
Project inception workshop. A one-week project inception workshop will be held at the outset to enable all partners to define the procedures for working together to establish the network and achieving the project outputs.
We will review the contractual arrangements for the financial control of the project and for the assessment of the agreed tasks and deliverables. Work package managers will be assigned strategies and protocols to be accepted after discussion and agreement by all partners.
The workshop will include training where needed, especially for standardised procedures that need to be followed by different partners for various capacity building activities and trialling of technology innovations.
Follow-up coordination meetings. Formal meetings will be organised each year with representation from each partner country. These will coincide with network meetings that will engage more widely with scientists, policy makers and agricultural technicians across the region (described in Work Packages below). In order to provide the project with independent evaluation and ensure key stakeholders are informed of progress, experts and end users will be invited to participate. Presentations from each work package leader will summarise projected outputs as optimised by the discussion at this inception meeting. Discussions about progress, potential deviations from the work plan and forward planning will be standing items at each meeting.
Activity reporting. Partners will prepare a two-page activity report every three to six months depending on the contract rules. The lead applicant and work package managers will use these to assess whether work progresses to plan and take action to minimise the effects of delays on other project activities.
Annual progress reports. Annual reports will be provided as instructed by the ACP S&T programme. Work package leaders will be responsible for collating information and making a single WP-report. The lead applicant will be responsible for integrating these into a single full report. A similar approach will be used to prepare the final project report covering information from all project years.
Project communication strategy. Implementation of the project communication strategy. The strategy will generally target three main groups: policy makers, research & extension, and end users. Materials will be drafted with different target audiences in mind, e.g. policy documents, peer-reviewed journals, leaflets/posters, with hard copies circulated to target institutions and posted on the project website. A communication specialist will work with the project team to ensure messages are clear and coherent as well as to monitor the uptake of communication messages.
- Deliverables Project activity and financial reporting delivered on time and as instructed by the project guidance
- OPTIONs website built, similar to www.nri.org/adappt
- Communication strategy implemented via project website forum and through OPTONS network meetings.
Risks Efficiency of partners’ organisations are affected by political or institutional problems that affect carrying out activities or financial reporting.
External Advisory Board are not all able to attend ADAPT network meetings. Feedback can be delivered via other members of this review group.
Staff changes at consortium institutions, although none anticipated.
Work package title WP 2: Policy and regulations review: Formulation and revision of policies, regulations and technical instruments for change and the role of financial incentives to facilitate the widespread uptake and use of pesticidal plant technologies in Africa.
Lead partner RBG-Kew
Involved partners All Partners
- Consolidate and build on existing networks of scientists, policy makers, NGOs and agricultural technicians established during a previous initiative - working in collaboration with farmers and SMEs - to develop an enabling environment through policy development to optimise and promote pesticidal plants for poverty alleviation.
- Strengthen cooperation of and communication among different food security stakeholders and build links from farms to government to directly influence policy on pest control using plants and move farming practice towards environmentally benign pest management.
- Development of science and technology innovation activities that lead to stepwise changes in the deployment, application, availability and use of pesticidal plants: safer practices, more effective propagation.
- Develop capacity in network members to better capitalize on research results through inter-network collaborations and information exchange forums.
Numerous plant species have been evaluated and validated for their biological activity as alternative technologies for managing stored product, livestock and field crop pests and ensuring food security. However, their uptake and use falls short of expectations. This is due to many factors including the policy environment that inhibits marketing, promotion and uptake via expected mechanisms such as pesticidal products development. In reality pesticidal plants comprise only a minor proportion of insect control technologies in large scale agriculture due to the limitations of the regulatory hurdles in many jurisdictions so only a few species have had any commercial success. It has been strongly argued that the greatest benefit from pesticidal plants lies with their use on small holder farming systems where accessibility to reliable products is limited and where costs and safety are major concerns. For most farmers for whom pesticidal plants are relevant the limiting factor is availability of high quality and effective plant materials and optimised application methodologies and inadequate investment of resources to address these issues. The enabling environment needs to be examined to identify how the promotion of plants as pesticides can best be realised, particularly through building capacity of institutions and small enterprises to develop and commercialise their use. Commercialisation through the manufacture of products may be appropriate for some products (Pyrethrum), but for others this could be realised through propagation and adequate supply by nursery growers to farmers. This could be accompanied by information that enables farmers to use the plants successfully and will reduce overharvesting from natural sources. There is strong evidence that training programs can change behaviour and encourage the cultivation of overharvested plants and this project will train farmers, SMEs and technologists to develop the capacity in Africa to scale up the use of pesticidal plants, while at the same time encouraging afforestation programmes and promoting conservation and biodiversity.
An external advisory group constituting international experts in the field will be assembled to provide the project with independent monitoring and evaluation to ensure that project activities are planned and carried out with the best possible chance of success.
Description of work
Network. Considerable ethno-botanical expertise exists at institutions and universities in African countries and will be brought together under the OPTIONS Project. Links to and input from international institutes and organisations including ICRAF, RBG-Kew and UoG-NRI as well as forums set up during a former project phase (www.nri.org/adappt) will provide the foundation for the project and input expertise to help establish research frameworks to convert Science and Technology Innovation into technical instruments that address crop protection and grain storage issues for farmers. Ultimately this will enable locally available plants to be developed into economically viable alternatives to synthetics pesticides.
Stakeholder participation. The project will set up working groups that engage widely with stakeholders including agricultural ministry representatives, science and technology innovators, commercial nurseries, farmers and small agro-veterinary businesses to build a consensus of stakeholders. This will provide the foundation for the development of an environment that enables the wide-scale uptake of technology innovation and ensure that any formulation of policy incorporates the needs and circumstances by which pesticidal plants use can be exploited for food security, promoted widely and optimised. In particular, OPTIONs network partners will organise in-country workshops to build intra-national networks for training and provide a route for information transfer to a wider body of scientists, technologists, NGOs and extension services and ultimately to farmers than would be feasible through the international OPTIONS network meetings.It is imperative that national level meetings include representative farmers so that their needs and circumstances can be delivered directly to those developing research programmes and formulating national agricultural policies. Communication within the OPTIONS network will be two-way.
Policy development. Pesticidal plants do not provide a revenue stream for larger businesses or generate income, via taxes, for government and may thus receive less attention in drawing up agriculture policies at the national level than they deserve. The projects intra-national networks, with evidence and personnel support from the OPTIONs partnership and associates will lobby national programmes for the expansion of pesticidal plant use in developing agricultural policy. This will need to consider the hurdles to commercialising this small industry sector presented by the pesticide regulatory authority that a previous ACP project identified and will focus on approaches that can identify potential innovative approaches to commercialise the sector. Interactions will be initiated with the Kenya Board of Standards in the first instance to determine scope for the registration of crude or processed products. Much will depend upon availability of plant material as wild sources are limited. Therefore, a significant effort will be invested into expansion of propagation protocols for nursery growers with a strong emphasis on financial incentives for farmers to continue growing slow growing species to garner a commitment to their propagation from farmers. This will require support of government and will appeal through the consequential contribution of planting thousands of trees of which at least 20% will be indigenous and of use for securing food.
The botanical insecticides sector is also being discussed in Europe at the policy level and while clearly some regulation is required to ensure human and environmental safety guidance document for registration of botanicals (of which one is currently under development for OECD countries) needs to be developed that is targeted for Africa. Registration is needed but needs to be proportional. There is already a regulatory pathway for botanicals in Kenya (via the Kenya Board of Standards) but currently it is not working for food security as there are only 6 plant based pesticidal products registered for use in Kenya and these are largely for domestic use of Pyrethrum (e.g., for dogs/mosquitoes) not food security. Quality and reliability of products is also important as members of the OPTIONs partnership determined in a previous ACP project when the large scale promotion of ineffective Tephrosia was identified and then stopped in Malawi. This needs controls and guidelines on ways to standardise which will be developed during this project with a facility set up in Malawi for quality control and processing and application needs optimising. Again, the present partnership has shown this can be done with several products and will promote these approaches in policy development. Regulation of plants as pesticides is complex and to see them as simply low cost alternatives to pesticides is perhaps too simplistic beyond their local use from wild harvested or home cultivated materials. Successful commercialisation can work based on a profit based business model. All these approaches will require capacity building and government facilitation.
International conference: The project will host one international conference on applied pesticidal plant research and provide an opportunity to follow up the ACP S&T-supported First International Conference on Pesticidal Plants, which was held in Nairobi, 21-23 Jan 2013 to communicate the research outputs and activities of the international pesticidal plant community including participants from non-African ACP states and elsewhere. The proceedings will be published in a special issue of an internationally refereed journal e.g., Biopesticides International or Crop Protection for which the project leader is the Regional Editor (Europe) and on the Editorial Board. This will help to reinforce the importance of high quality in research methods design, data collection, archiving, analysis and reporting since each contributed paper for submission will be reviewed under normal journal criteria and the prospect of publishing in a journal of this calibre will be promoted in the early days of the project. Potential participants will therefore have time during the project to develop and apply new skills with the aim of producing a publication of internationally recognised quality.
International Pesticidal Plants Society (IPPS): To further develop ACP networks this project will establish an International Pesticidal Plants Society to widen the scope of participation to the global level, but especially inclusive of partnership from the Pacific and Caribbean Countries. Some regions such as India and China have well-developed industries producing commercialised plant products, and these will inform approaches to policy development in Africa, particularly through members of the external advisory board. This will provide a strong body of ACP scientific stakeholders with potentially high level influence that can advise public bodies such as Kenya Board of Standards and other government offices on S&T policies pertaining to the use and application of pesticidal plants.
- Deliverables annual meetings of OPTIONS project.
- additional OPTIONS partner meetings including the inception meeting
- OPTIONS Project website to collate and develop STI on pesticidal plants.
- Pesticidal plant database constructed during earlier ACP funded project expanded and developed to include novel STI and propagation criteria.
- Policy document published to assess the most important opportunities for outreach and innovation technologies in pesticidal plants to guide optimisation and promotion and to determine scope for and level of commercialisation.
- At least 8 research papers in internationally refereed journals
Risks Cooperation of scientists towards a collaborative rather than competitive research environment will take time.
Attendances of so many participants at meetings cannot be guaranteed and so may compromise outcomes.
Work package title WP 3: Strengthening of capacities of government agencies, research institutions and private sector in pesticidal plant STI through collaborative outreach programmes workshops and training
Lead partner ICRAF
Involved partners All partners
- Capacity to determine research needs and gaps in development and promotion of pesticidal plants across OPTIONs project countries established.
- Capacity increased to influence formulation of research policy by ensuring partne are informed to affect change and implement policies at government, research and CBO/NGO levels.
- Scoping trial for the development of a Pyrethrum sector in Malawi and Zimbabwe with commercial sector support (MGK, Associate to the action)
- 100 commercial nursery growers in at least 2 countries trained in propagation and distribution of pesticidal tree species from Eastern and Southern Africa.
- 20 commercial farmers in each of at least 2 countries trained in the production of Pyrethrum.
- Trialling innovative application protocols of plant material in control of livestock ecto-parasites and stored product and field pests
Basic research identifying and validating the pesticidal activity of plant species in Africa could be considered adequate with more than 100 species now known and validated through published articles. Numerous papers have and continue to publish data that identify activities against various pest arthropods of varying levels of importance justifying their potential use as ecologically benign alternatives to synthetic pesticides. However, there has been little capitalization on this knowledge that converts this research into science and technology innovation and ultimately into useful commercially relevant products. Furthermore, only recently (largely through the actions of this project’s partnerships during a previous ACP funded project phase) has attention been placed on understanding mechanisms of activity in plant materials that enable informed approaches to optimising the use, harvesting and cultivation of pesticidal plant species as well as understanding potential health and safety issues.
This WP will address several critical aspects of the pesticidal plant sector identified through previous research activities by the project partners including improved application, understanding mechanisms of activity, improved methods for propagation and innovative and safer approaches to application  that could lead to a sea change in uptake and use for the poorest farmers if implemented through policy enhanced strategic environments. These include access to otherwise inadequately available material including the development of a new pyrethrum sector in Malawi and Zimbabwe, incentive driven propagation of effective but slow growing pesticidal species such as trees, and the dissemination to farmers and extension technologists of STI approaches to their application, particularly in livestock use and stored product protection for food security.
Description of work
Scientific training. The experience of the Project contact through editing and refereeing international journals such as Crop Protection, Phytochemistry, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Journal of Economic Entomology and Journal of Stored Products Research is that a considerable proportion of research on pesticidal plants from African research institutes lacks sufficient quality in research methods design, data collection, archiving and analysis to be accepted for publication. This is an important loss of information to the wider scientific community but could be addressed through appropriate training and capacity building. We propose to convene scientific writing workshops, particularly targeting post-graduates, early career researchers and junior scientists. At least one 2-day workshop will be held in each target country particularly focussed on designing research methods, writing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals and developing and submitting project grant proposals. The OPTIONs network will assemble the means of independently evaluating research activities, grant proposals for future projects and project ideas on pesticidal plants and guiding the writing of scientific research papers of partners’ and associates’ work through training materials developed. A broad overview of capacity building activities will be undertaken about pesticidal plant innovation in Africa since much work has been done but has had little impact on farmers’ needs. The outcome will be to strengthen and upgrade the competencies of the pesticidal plant technology community through the production of a research framework that clearly defines research methods and the management of large well-funded multinational research collaborations.
Nursery propagation training and implementation. Organise training workshops at regional and national levels to strengthen and upgrade the competencies of scientific network members, NGOs and CBOs. Workshops will be held that provide formal tutoring for network partners on issues such as harvesting wild seeds, seed storage, propagation of pesticidal plants for sustainable use. NGOs and CBOs will provide training to nursery growers on difficult-to-propagate species, their uses and methods of use to enable nurseries to provide information to end users. Capacity building in micro-propagation will be useful for some stakeholders, particularly for effective pesticidal plant species that are limited by their natural distribution or abundance or germination characteristics. Technical instruments and novel approaches to uptake and cooperation will be trialled e.g. financial incentives for propagating trees, competitions for most effective use of promoted technologies based on yield achievements and recognition through regional bodies of success stories will be used to help drive uptake and interest among stakeholders and thus inform government of potential interventions that work and could be scaled up. Incentives that accompany training are important drivers for change and will ultimately lead to greater interest in the innovations for pest control. Enhancing the propagation of indigenous trees, and strengthening legislation related to property rights will be important aspects of capacity building.
CBO training in safe and effective application.Our research on plant species in earlier ACP actions shows that the biologically active plant compounds are frequently insoluble in water. Small holder farmers typically use water to extract plant material where applied as a spray and this is highly inefficient. However, in our earlier work we showed that the use of surfactants or liquid soaps can improve extraction efficiency and reduce amounts of plant material required. In addition the earlier project proposed innovative approaches to using reduced quantities of plant material in stored products particularly to reduce exposure of stored food products to the insecticidal plant materials. While plants are generally a lower health risk that synthetics it is still important to reduce exposure. Both these approaches will be developed into training and information sheets and distributed to CBO associates of the project to train farmers in improved application of pesticidal plants.
Pyrethrum sector development. Pyrethrum production is a profitable endeavour and is growing successfully in Tanzania. This has largely been as a result of the success of changing the Pyrethrum Board of Tanzania into a private company and relaxed trading legislation. We propose to take this successful model to highlands of Northern Malawi and Eastern Zimbabwe and supported by McLaughlin Gormley and King, a major importer to the US of Pyrethrum we will endeavour to provide small holder farmers a new cash crop. Training in propagation will be based on a current pilot program being implemented by MGK and will be delivered to many more farmers.
Development of safe approaches to the use of pesticidal plants for use in food storage and livestock ectoparasite control. Training farmer in the use of novel ST innovations for effective and economically viable application of plants to control ectoparasites of livestock. These will reduce exposure of farm workers to plant materials and provide protocols for safer and more effective use of plant materials for pest control.
Networking activities & interlinking institutes with government. An essential component of developing the project’s exit strategy will be to ensure that the OPTIONs project partnerships continue the outreach, training and development work on pesticidal plants beyond the life time of this proposed project. This needs to continue at the higher standards cultivated during the proposed project while exploiting the collaborative teams established across the continent by the OPTIONs network. These multiple nation teams will not only provide the benefits of multidisciplinary approaches but will also provide international donors with more attractive funding opportunities since at present donors are frequently faced with single institute submissions that are limited in their scope and skills diversity. The development of an international society described in WP2 will help establish an authoritative voice to pesticidal plant STI which will provide a recognised channel through which to influence policy and help connect researchers, NGO, CBOs and SMEs with government officials. The OPTIONs partnership will put into practice policy developments from WP2 to national and regional levels.
- Simple protocols on the optimised application protocols for the use of pesticidal plant materials produced for farmers and NGOs and published.
- Successful propagation of at least 5 pesticidal plants species effective and
- Facts sheets (in local languages where required) providing instructions for the safe and effective use of localpesticidal plants produced.
- Facts sheets in local languages that provide guidance on collection, storage and propagation of indigenous plant species for improved access to plant materials
- Focus strengthen and upgrade the competencies of the agricultural research community – research methods
- At least 10 scientists or students per country in 4 countries trained in science and technology innovations for pesticidal plant research, development and deployment.
- At least 24 scientists (3 per country) across the whole network trained in proposal writing for international funding bodies
Risks Suitable candidates are available for training. Past experience on similar actions suggests this risk is very low.
Work package title WP 4: Dissemination and outreach: promotion of STI, awareness raising and improving access to information
Lead partner University of Zimbabwe
Involved partners All partners
- Raise awareness through public debates and consultations on effective use of pesticidal plants in pest management for food security at government and policy level, particularly on the importance of pesticidal plants for addressing the MDGs.
- Raising awareness of the importance and economic value of using pesticidal plants via schools through competitions and interactive publicity events supported by publicity material, mass media and farmer field schools.
- Trialling innovative application protocols of plant material in control of livestock ecto-parasites and stored product and field pests
- Raising the quality of research outputs by guiding the dissemination of research results in high impact internationally refereed journals.
- Provide a website to facilitate network activities communication and information on technical and application of pesticidal plant materials.
Science and Technology Innovations in Agriculture are not well promoted when compared to, for example, medical innovations and, as such, often do not get the appropriate policy attention their importance deserves. Surveys of farmers across southern Africa in a previous project phase indicate that the economic value of pesticidal plants in crop production and food security is well understood by farmers, extension workers, NGOs and many scientists. However, to enable broader uptake at national levels in partner countries and across Africa, the application, propagation and commercialisation of these materials needs to be addressed by national government programs. Previously members of the present partnership have shown that pesticidal plants can be optimised to improve efficacy, reduce inputs and lower environmental impacts. This knowledge needs to be delivered to farmers through various farmer participatory promotional processes and trainer training, including the distribution of information leaflets as well as popular media including TV, radio and newspapers.
Description of work
Production of policy document setting out detailed information on most effective incentives for farmer and SME participation in action.
Uptake pathways for pesticidal plant use in each network member state, the hurdles and processes to facilitate promotion and information disseminated.
Media organisations are already well known to many of the partners and will be engaged to maximise the opportunities to disseminate information about pesticidal plants via radio, TV and newspapers as well as through community based forums such as schools and village posters.
Current research work of partners on parallel active research projects will benefit from OPTIONs project network input to raise the quality of submissions to higher quality journals and improve success in proposal writing.
Innovative on-farm demonstrations will be conducted with farmers and other stakeholders to showcase and consolidate identified plant-based pest control technologies and to incorporate IKS where relevant. Government and tertiary institutions such as Universities will be engaged to revise include pesticidal plants in their training curricula as dissemination strategy and to build in-country capacity. The national OPTIONS networks will be strengthened based on the ADAPPT network model to share and disseminate quality research and development information. To ensure integration and engagement with the young generation, school-based networks will be established through which proven pesticidal plant technologies will be disseminated. Schools will also be encouraged to conserve and promote pesticidal plants through establishment of school nurseries which could then be used at the National tree planting day or similar events according to the national calendars.
- Deliverables Publicity material for OPTIONs network and more general use of pesticidal plant use.
- Programmes promoting the safe and effective use of pesticidal plants aired on radio and television.
- 8 research papers in internationally refereed journals.
- 8 popular articles written for or written by magazines or web based news information magazine.
Risks Cooperation and interest of journalists and media organisations can be maintained.
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