Monday, 11 April 2011

Reducing Pest Damage Without Damaging the Environment

The project’s researchers showed Ugandan farmers that IPM methods were “better, safer, and cheaper” than applying pesticides by conducting farmer field experiments and field research to find easy-to-apply tactics. (Photo credit: Shanidov, Flickr Commons)
31/03/2011. The Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program (IPM CRSP), supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED), works with farmers and universities to reduce the damage caused by pests without harming people or the planet.
One of eight collaborative research support programs set up by USAID, IPM CRSP supports research and education in 33 countries to spread adoption of the alternative agricultural approachIntegrated Pest Management (IPM).
IPM includes a variety of methods to reduce chemical inputs, such as planting pest-resistant crop varieties, waiting to plant for several months during “no-host periods” to reduce opportunities for pests to reproduce, and using organic controls, such as insects that eat pests. When absolutely necessary, temporary and low-toxic pesticides are used by farmers.
Supported by the IPM CRSP program, researchers from the U.S. partner with local scientists, universities, and farmers to transfer knowledge and skills about IPM. In Kampala, Uganda, for example, IPM CRSP worked with local scientists from Makerere University to show tomato growers how to use techniques that reduced pesticide use by 75 percent.