Navarra is a region located in the north of Spain with a border with France. It is a small region in which there are different agricultural productions, in the northern area the cattle and sheep milk and meat livestock stands out and agriculture predominates in the middle and southern areas.
In this northern area, the two designations of origin of cheese in the region are placed. In the southernmost area, a very important horticulture linked to the agri-food industry predominates. It can be said that it is a small region with great agricultural wealth.
Historically, the use of IPM techniques in Navarra has been based on the use of preventive measures and the Pest Monitoring and Warning System, and the regional public advisory service has been key in transferring knowledge to farmers. Other IPM techniques such as biological control and the use of pheromones have been mainly used in greenhouses and vineyards by organic farmers and those who were more concerned about environmental and health issues.
In recent years, new European regulations, increasing demand, new projects and the loss of conventional chemical plant protection products, have increased farmers’ need and interest to apply the techniques in other crops. The advisory landscape is more diverse since other advisory organisations play a role in this innovation area.
The surveys carried out in the Agrilink project show that farmers engage with a wide range of sources of information and advice (public and private advisors, industries, cooperatives, the Internet, etc.), although other farmers’ opinion and experience are considered crucial when deciding to implement the innovation. The decision not to adopt is driven by the fact that these techniques are considered technically more complex and more expensive, because there is a lack of demand from the market, or because of fear of worse efficiencies or less crop productivity. Nevertheless, only some farmers decide to abandon the innovation after implementation. It is therefore essential to increase knowledge and training for farmers and technicians so they can promote the use of these techniques among their farmers through continuous training, demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of the techniques in farmers’ plots and exchanging experiences and good practices.
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INTIA SA, the regional public advisory service, has a long experience in agricultural advice, counting on teams of technical advisers who have been key in transmitting this knowledge to farmers in Navarra. Traditionally, the use of IPM techniques in Navarra has been based on the use of preventive measures and the INTIA warning station.