Promoting #NatureBasedSolutions (NBS) in Agriculture

Nature based solutions can bring about myriad economic, environmental and social benefits such as reduced infrastructure costs, green growth and on-health

The biological control based Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program was started in Tando Mohammad Khan district, Sindh, Pakistan in 1989. This program was thoroughly financed by the Faran Sugar Mills Limited (FSML) – a corporate entity up to 1999 followed by its pilot-based marketing model with the farmers as a great success. This program was later transformed to an Enterprise as a partnership amongst Eco-Conservation Initiatives (ECI), Green Technology Initiatives (GTI), FSML and about 2,000 sugarcane growers of the area with a reach to about 15,000 hectares of the crop area as direct beneficiaries of our bio-products & services since early 2001 to-date.

The IPM Enterprise is a sort of product & service delivery system based on a business plan. The products & services include labs-based augmentation and field-based redistribution and conservation of biological agents (insect predators & parasitoids), use of cultural management practices such as conservation of sugarcane trash, effective weed management, bio-fertilization, high yielding crop varieties as well as a range of other nature-based solutions and environment-friendly practices along with advisory / extension services at the farm level through our field technicians.

The program focus has been on increasing crop yield by reducing the cost of production through the application of environment-friendly nature-based solutions and enhancing the sale of bio-products & services through a sound marketing approach for its long-term sustainability. With demonstration of good results, ECI facilitated the sugar mills to establish a separate building including bio-labs for scaling up the business by enhancing the bio-products and services enhancing the customers’ base in the area, making it a highly sustainable farmers’-led enterprise in a win-win scenario. The enterprise is not only sustainably operational in Sindh to-date but also has a great potential to be gradually launched in other provinces. With availability of climate finance / donor support, this program may also be introduced to other food crops to address the ongoing challenges related to food insecurity with focus on increasing crop yield and decreasing the cost of production.

The sugar mill has been instrumental to popularize the bio-control based IPM approach at scale with the technical assistance from ECI and GTI. Due to the Mill’s tremendous support, the enterprise is sustainably operational to-date benefitting all the stakeholders even after ECI handed it over to their local management in 2016.

Development professional working in the non-profit sector

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