Project Title: Community based Integrated Pest Management of Cotton Pests
Country: Pakistan
Name of the executing organization: Implementation by Human Development Foundation (HDF) and technical support by Eco-Conservation Initiatives (ECI)
Type of the organization: NGO, CBO, IP: Both Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Number of people served: 15
Location: District Rahim Yar Khan (Southern Punjab) marked with red colour. The district lies between 27.40′ – 29.16′ north latitudes and 60.45′ – 70.01′ east longitudes.
SGP Contribution: Total of about US $ 100,000 in 2 phases (2005-06 and 2006-09)
UNDP Contribution: Nil
In-Cash Co-financing: Nil
In-Kind Co-financing: Almost equal to cash contribution
Start Date: 2005
End Date: 2009

Background Information

  • What was the existing problem that threatens human health and environment? And how is this problem related to POPs?

The farmers have to use 10 to 15 pesticide sprays for control of bollworm insect pests in a season. Most of these contain POPs chemicals as their ingredients. As a result, human health and ecology was getting seriously affected.

  • Is this problem also connected to biodiversity loss, land degradation, climate change or other environmental issues?

Of course, this problem is connected with ecological degradation as a whole. As a result, land air and water pollution is created that is connected with climate change.

  • Please detail the historical, ecological, geographical and environmental context.

Since 1960’s chemical insecticides were being promoted in this area; almost 80% were used on cotton. Primarily, it gave good control of the insect pests without knowing that insecticide sprays that were being used also contained POP contents. With the passage of time, insects developed resistance against insecticides and the number of sprays continued to increase till it reached up to 10 or 15 per season. This created human health problem, soil, air and water contamination, loss to biodiversity along with environmental degradation. The SGP supported project was started to gradually reduce and then eliminate POPs containing pesticides and give biological alternatives as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that helped resolved the problem in target areas.

Project Description

  • What are the main objectives of the project?

Main objectives of the project were identifying the POPs containing pesticides, reduce number of sprays, give IPM based alternatives to the farmers, protect biodiversity and decrease cost of production.    

  • Who were the key players?

GEF-SGP provided financial support, ECI technical support and HDF implemented the project with its strong social mobilization component and in-kind contribution in the form of infrastructure, human resources and transport, etc. Farmers joined the field based activities by attending on-farm Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and Training of the Trainers (TOTs).

  • Please detail the plan and organization of this project.

Initially, the project duration was for one year. Depending upon evaluation of the project, it was extended for another 3 years with the aims to cover more area. Project activities were planned in coordination with the stakeholders. Community based IPM approach was adopted to identify the pests, study their ecology, nature of damage and provide IPM techniques based on biological, cultural, mechanical control along with use of pheromones for management of the pests keeping under threshold levels. Beside, on-farm training and exposure visits were conducted for the farmers including women cotton pickers. They were familiarized with the POPs properties and their longstanding impacts on humans and ecology because of their non-degradable nature for years. A field office was established equipped with a biological lab, project personnel and field staff. They were responsible for weekly monitoring of the pests, releases of natural enemies to manage the pests and application of bio-pesticides such as neem extracts and oil based non-toxic products such as DC-Tron, etc. As a result, the number of sprays were reduced up to 2 in the third year of the project. The farmers who were fully convinced with the project approach and results also diverted to organic management of their cotton crop. Moreover by reduction in number of sprays, overall cost of production was also reduced with the ratio of 3 : 1.

Key Activities and Innovations

  • Please list and explain which are/were the main project activities and the goal for each activity.
  1. Community dialogue and social mobilization for creating sensitization and awareness about POPs hazardous impacts and orientation of the farmers.
  2. Identification of the major insect pest problems and POPs components being used in the chemicals with the goal to ultimately reduce and then eliminate the components by providing alternatives.
  3. Collection of baseline information such as average number of patients affected by pesticides sprays visiting the local physicians, soil, water and air pollution with views of the community. The goal of this activity was to compile the baseline information for comparison after end of the project.
  4. Biological augmentation of farmer friendly insects (natural enemies) such as Trichogramma chilonis and Chrysoperla carnea in the laboratory and mass releases in the insect attacked fields
  5. Collection of field data before and after the mass releases of beneficial insects.
  6. Application of non-toxic chemicals as well as neem extracts as part of IPM approach to reduce the pest infestation.
  7. Awareness raising among farmers about harmful impacts of POPs on humans and the ecology
  8. Publication of Training Manuals and brochures for education of the stakeholders
  • Who were the target beneficiaries?

Farmers including women, young girls, children and cotton boll pickers and personnel from Department of Agriculture Research and Extension were the main beneficiaries

  • What would you say are the key innovations that make your project stand out and were critical to successful environmental, social and economic outcomes?

Following were the key innovations:

  1. Application of biological control agents or beneficial insects as part of the ecology. By their conservation, augmentation and releases, natural balance was maintained in the cotton fields.
  2. Involvement of women and young girls and children in the awareness and social mobilization campaign through house to house contacts and media.
  3. Farmers were convinced by demonstration of several pest management techniques instead of only one that they were carrying out in the past i.e use of chemical insecticides.
  4. Holding Farmers Field Schools was an innovative and good experience for them.
  • How did you engage the local community and key stakeholders to participate in the project?

They were engaged through community dialogue with the family elders followed by social mobilization, house to house contacts by the field personnel and organizing FFS.

  • Was there any technology innovation involved in this project? Where applicable please provide engineering drawings and dimensions of the equipment/technology produced/used?

This was basically Community IPM approach based on biological control of the pests. This was carried out by establishing the insect laboratory with culture rooms equipped with locally designed wooden racks, cages and glass jars for mass rearing of the natural enemies. In addition to this, a simple set up was also established to extract the neem seeds and leaves for application on the insects to kill them by indigestion and as repellents. Figures are attached at the end.


  • What were the main challenges the community faced when implementing the project?

Initially farming community was not ready to stop or reduce the number of chemical sprays on cotton crop. However with constant dialogues, social mobilization and on-farm demonstration of the results, they were convinced to follow the project guidelines.

  • What did the organization do to overcome these challenges?

As stated above

  • At what phase of the project did these challenges arise (planning/ implementation/evaluation)?

Initial stage of the project

  • What could have been done differently or better?

The approach adopted by the project was the best.

  • What would you recommend to improve future programming?

Establishment of mass rearing laboratory is recommended. The testing of chemicals requires the system with uninterrupted supply of electricity. In the project area, excessive load shedding of electricity has been the big problem. In future, heavy duty diesel generators may also be included in the project budgets.

Environmental Impact

  • How does your group measure the environmental impacts?

These are measured by assessing the health of local plants, crops and human health by testing the samples from a certified laboratory by government. 

  • Does this project facilitate reduction in use or production of hazardous chemicals or prevention from exposure to them? If so and applicable, please quantify by completing the following table. The associated PIC-Chemicals sheet for chemical common name, trade name, CAS# and typical use can be a reference when needed. This table is prepared as a template. Please make appropriate adjustment according to your need if necessary.

The project dealt with only industrial chemicals that are mentioned in the table below:


Specification (Please list their names if applicable)

Amount (tons)

Reduction in use

Reduction in production

Restriction from exposure

Recycled or appropriately treated

Pesticides and formulations

Aldrin, Dieldrin, Heptachlor, Methamidophos, Monocrotophos, Parathion





Industrial chemicals






Unintentionally produced chemicals













  • Does this project also benefit in biodiversity gain, land recovery, ecosystem restoration, climate change adaption, renewable energy/materials promotion etc? If so, please list them and quantify if possible.

This has already been mentioned.

  • What have been the secondary benefits?

Following have been the secondary benefits:

  1. Coordination between project personnel, farmers, agriculturists and extension workers was strengthened.
  2. Greater awareness was raised among the community, schools and government departments
  3. The number of pesticide affected patients started to reduce in the hospitals
  4. Community got fully aware for not allowing any mass spraying of chemical pesticides on their crops in future.

Socio-economic impacts

  • What measurable change has there been in local incomes and job opportunities? (change in average household income, job creation, revenues, livelihood diversification, livelihood/income diversification, market access etc) Where possible, please provide statistics and numbers that document the change or impact of the project over time.
  1. The cost of crop protection before application of IPM was Pak Rs.10,000 to 15,000 and after IPM applications, it reduced to about 2,000 only for half an hectare.
  2. Being aware of non toxic chemicals and bio-pesticides, some of the farmers themselves started to produce and use the products.
  3. Looking at the IPM trends, local pesticide suppliers started avoiding to accept the POPs containing compounds from the distributors.
  • Have there been secondary benefits? (Investments in infrastructure, poverty reduction, higher awareness, etc.)

There has been greater awareness about IPM approach and reducing cost of pesticides with provision of alternatives.

  • Have revenues from the project been reinvested into school fees, hospitals, local infrastructure, etc?

Not applicable.

  • Does this project propose an environmental sustainable product to substitute POPs or POPs related product? If so, please comment on the economic effect on such substitution.

Yes of course, the bio-products as well as non-toxic chemicals and bio-pesticides were locally produced and used. They have great economic importance for the farmers. They were enabled to identify and produce the same by themselves.

  • Does this project promote organic farming? If so, please comment on the economic effect as a result of such promotion.

Obviously the organized use of biological control based IPM leads to organic farming and organic pest management. With regular application of such measures, the farmers automatically get used to organic farming of production.


Policy Impacts

  • Does this project promote organic farming? Was there any attempt made to assist policy direction in supporting environmentally friendly farming practice and their produce marketing?

There was not much time available to address the policy level issues.

  • Has there been success in influencing policy at what level (community, institution, municipal, regional) and what were the critical factors that made that success possible?

Definitely, the project played a greater role to influence the policies at local institution level such as agriculture department and union councils.

  • What have been the barriers and the successes removing these barriers?

The major barriers were the pesticide companies who have been resisting the project approach. They were mainly concerned with use of beneficial insects as they affected their sale in local market. This is a sort of competition that is still going on. Efforts were made to hold meetings with them and try to convince that they must focus on production of non-POPs products that are safe for environment. 

  • Have there been any regional (subnational) or national policies or laws that were enacted or changed as a result of your project?



  • Was there any special participation by women (e.g. as project proponents, implementers, beneficiaries). If yes, how vital was their participation in the project’s success?

Women participation was equally ensured from the stage of planning up to field implementation and monitoring of the project. They have been very much interested in field demonstration and FFS activities.

  • Please provide any statistics on the number of women involved in the project, or the number of women benefitted by the project?

About 500 women benefited out of the project in the target area.

  • Did SGP assist grantees to acquire gender training?

It has been SGPs priority to involve women at all stages of project development, management and field implementation that was consequently ensured.

  • What action did SGP take to overcome gender barriers in achieving SGP project goals? In case any project created a gender issue (e.g. gender imbalance), what were those issues and what action did SGP take?

SGP has developed effective communication strategy for its project partners. This was mutually agreed that project team will involve women staff to approach the women farmers at household level for dialogue and their social mobilization. This approach helped to cover all the barriers in an effective way.

  • Does SGP have a strategic partner to strengthen gender equality and gender empowerment in your projects?

Human Development Foundation (HDF) being the field implementation partner has a large number of female staffs in their team who were duly involved for dissemination of project messages to the women and convince them for active involvement in project activities. This strategic approach tremendously benefited the implementation process by equal participation of women.

Indigenous Peoples

  • Was there any special participation by IP (e.g. as project proponents, implementers, beneficiaries). If yes, how vital was their participation in the project’s success?

In the project area, there are no indigenous people as per UN definition. However, a number of farmers from the nearby Cholistan desert bordered with India have been part of the stakeholders who developed their skills.

  • Please provide any statistics on the number of IP involved in the project, or the number of IP benefited by the project?


  • Did you use a special methodology or approach to work with Indigenous communities such as participatory video?

Whether or not there are indigenous people involved, demonstration of the best practices through audio-visuals has been one of the components of project methodology.


  • What are the key components that make this project sustainable? (Ex; training, human resources, financial resources, capacity-building, community participation, awareness, organizational support)?

Following aspects make the project sustainable:

  1. Strong community participation and empowerment in decision-making
  2. On-Farm capacity building through FFS and TOT
  3. Learning by doing by the farming community
  4. Low cost plant protection practices introduced
  • Which partner agencies and organizations, if any, are furthering project sustainability?

HDF and ECI are still in the loop. HDF is still looking after the project activities at the field level on self-help basis. As and when needed, ECI provides technical support. Preparation of this case study is also part of this coordination mechanism that exists between the partners. Moreover, we have always strong support and encouragement from GEF-SGP who have facilitated us to upscale the project with UNDP’s mid-term grant which is in process.

  • What is needed to make the project more sustainable?

Followings are needed:

  1. Active government involvement and serious support at the policy making level
  2. Involvement of the pesticide companies so that they could be persuaded for production of environment compatible bio-products instead of hazardous POPs containing compounds.
  3. Publication of additional training material and continuity of the FFS and TOT at field level
  4. More involvement of the partners for establishment of a sound set-up of bio-products production by the involvement of farmers.
  • What would you advise other communities who wish to create an effective and sustainable project to ensure sustainability?

Following points may be advised:

  1. Organized community participation in the project from the stage of planning up to post implementation evaluation.
  2. Farmers themselves be involved in development of on-farm cheap methods and easily available bio-ingredients to prepare and use biological approach for management of the pests so that reliance on POPs containing chemicals is reduced.
  3. All stakeholders to be taken on board



  • List of partners and their roles in the project/initiative success, how have they assisted in achieving the project’s goals?

Following are the partners with their roles:

  1. HDF: Field level implementation and social mobilization
  2. ECI: Provision of technical support
  3. SGP: Provision of funds and assistance in project development
  4. Agriculture Department: Identification of target communities, government representation
  5. Farming Communities: The target beneficiaries and active players in field implementation of the project volunteering their land, crops and traditional services.
  • Lessons on the critical contributions of certain partners (e.g. universities for sampling, and monitoring and evaluation)
    1. HDF formal and informal schools were involved in the project activities for raising awareness and introducing them about harmful impacts of POPs on humans and ecology.
    2. The representatives from third parties such as other like-minded organizations have visiting to monitor the project activities and sharing their experiences
    3. SGP representatives and people from UNDP have also been involved in the monitoring of the project

Replication and Up-scaling

  • How easy would it be to replicate the successes in a different context or country?

The project base has already been established where HDF is voluntarily contributing. The results of the pilot level activities may be up-scaled by including other nearby areas and the farmers. However, funding has been a constraint. To meet this aspect, ECI has submitted a national level project to UNDP for larger grant for reduction and then gradual elimination of POPs in agriculture and industry in Pakistan by giving alternatives. This has been approved by the GEF Focal Area. However even after 2 years it is still in the approval process. This project will not only involve the pilot area but also all provinces of the Pakistan. ECI has the main expertise in biological control based Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that will be utilized for up-scaling of the project at national level.

  • What mistakes should be avoided if the project were to be replicated?
  1. Unavailability of regular electricity supply for the biological lab.
  2. Casual involvement of pesticide companies representatives
  3. Weak communication among partners and farmers
  • Have your project been up-scaled? If yes, please explain how and which organization lead the up-scaling process

ECI took the lead and the project for reduction and elimination of POPs at national level is in the final process of approval with UNDP HQs.

  • Have you shared your successful model with other communities?

ECI is already working on this model in different areas of Pakistan. For example, in District Hyderabad they are applying the same approach on 20,000 hectares of sugarcane crop. No chemical pesticides are used on this area since last several years as the bio-products are produced locally in the jointly operated laboratories by Sugar Mills and ECI.

  • What was the vehicle for knowledge exchange?
  1. Information Communication Technologies – ICTs
  2. On-Farm dialogues, FFS and TOTs
  3. Preparation of the Training Manuals with wider distribution among the stakeholders
  4. Preparation of video clips and posters
  5. House to house dissemination of information through women
  • How many new communities and beneficiaries are applying your model?

This needs to be surveyed for updated figures. But we believe that many farmers who were convinced have started to avoid use of highly hazardous chemical insecticides on cotton.

  • If the model has been replicated, please explain how, with what support from which stakeholders, how many beneficiaries

Already described.

  • In your opinion, how important is exchanging peer-to-peer knowledge?

This is of tremendous importance as this also includes learning by doing approach.

  • Have you experienced barriers to successful knowledge exchange? If so, what are they, and how could they potentially be overcome?

Excessive electricity load shedding has become the common barrier. In addition to this, project communication strategy also needs to be further improved.

Lessons learned

  • Give a brief description of the good practice (300 words maximum) highlighting the innovative features and results achieved by the project/ activity.

One example of the good practice is that farmers started to monitor their crops regularly on weekly basis. As taught and trained, they became used to identify, collect and destroy insect pest eggs mechanically in the field. Moreover, they also started to destroy the specific weed plant species around the crop field that were providing them as hibernating spaces. As a result, the infestation of pests was automatically decreased during the next season.

  • What are the lessons learned on Implementation, work with communities, technical lessons, policy lessons?

Regarding implementation: It requires well planned strategy with a sound communication strategy

Communities: They can learn more effectively learning by doing approach or through effective demonstration. Moreover, they take greater interest in video presentations than class room lecture approach.

Technical lessons: Conducive environment is required for establishment of biological lab systems with provision of uninterrupted supply of utilities and trained human resources.

  • Briefly describe SGP involvement and the technical support provided.

        SGP team leader/National Coordinator has been highly supportive. Their role has been highly encouraging. Not only they have been visiting the field level activities but also facilitated in projection of project activities to wider group of stakeholders, media, academia and CSOs across Pakistan.

  • Describe what worked well and how it was done.

        Community dialogue and social mobilization was very well done. The main reason was that HDF had already established a base for education, credit facilities, health and economic empowerment initiatives in the project area.

  • What were the key successes of this project?
  1. Number of pesticides sprays were reduced by 90%
  2. To some extent, air, water and soil pollution was in check leading towards leveling the ground bio-diversity conservation
  3. The number of pesticide induced health case reduced based on post project survey
  4. Training Manuals were prepared for onward dissemination of knowledge and skills to wider group of stakeholders.
  5. Framing community was empowered in collective decision making
  • What factors supported the success?
  1. Better coordination among the partners
  2. Dynamic encouragement and support from the sponsors
  3. Organized social mobilization by HDF and timely technical support by ECI
  4. Good awareness raising approach


  • Has this project been awarded a prize or recognized by other groups/agencies/organizations? If so please provide the following information:

This has yet to be presented for expected awards.

Name of the Award

Year the award was received

Nam e of the Organization that gives the award

Description on the reasons why the project won the award: