|Synopsis on Integrated Pest Management in Developing Countries (NRI, 1991, 20 p.)|
40. The international development community has shown increasing interest in promoting an IPM approach to crop protection problems; this has been at least partly induced by mounting pressures to adopt environmentally sensitive aid policies which are sustainable. Pesticides have been of major concern to environmentalists and IPM is commonly accepted as a satisfactory way of keeping their use in check. FAO has been active in this field since the 1960s and the World Bank has recently adopted IPM as the central strategy for projects involving crop protection. The climate for IPM is clearly favourable.
41. Bilateral development agencies commonly have both a funding and executive function; in some cases the latter is primarily resourced through in-house expertise, in others a national or international pool of manpower provides the necessary resource for technical co-operation. In either case there is characteristically a split between the two functions. Where funding is provided for research there are few explicit links with implementation programmes. This is a major constraint to the effectiveness of aid in science-based activities such as IPM.
42. Bilateral agencies also provide funding for multilateral organizations, which may themselves act as donors or as executive agencies. The distribution of funding, geographically and by sector, and between bilateral and multilateral activities is determined predominantly by political considerations.
43. These factors combine to create a weakly articulated and heavily bureaucratized framework that militates against a holistic approach such as IPM. There is a clear need to co-ordinate the efforts of agencies concerned to promote IPM and capitalize on their collective skills and experience. This was the rationale for the establishment of the present Working Group and a tentative mechanism for achieving this objective is set out in a later section of the Consultants' Report.
44. Technical co-operation must be the principal route through which development agencies can promote IPM. IPM is knowledge based and the generation of descriptive models, information management systems and component technologies exerts high intellectual, technical and technological demands. The scientific base needed to service this fully within the time scale in which it will be required will be beyond the resources of most developing countries. The initial effort must therefore come from the developed countries in close collaboration with counterpart scientists from developing countries.
45. IPM is also a dynamic concept. Strategies, technologies and their performance must be constantly monitored, reappraised and revised; IPM cannot be delivered as a package. The technical capacity to perform this function must be built within the countries that operate the system. A high investment in training with emphasis on in-country practical experience based on relevant problems is required.
46. Technology generation is primarily a research activity and is inevitably science led; it must, however, be responsive to real pest management needs and not simply represent a vehicle for elegant applications of research findings. Perhaps the critical role for development agencies in facilitating IPM is to assist in the articulation of these needs through helping to characterize the agronomic, social and economic context in which pest problems are expressed.
47. This calls for a broader multidisciplinary framework within the agencies themselves and, in particular, a greater role for agronomists, sociologists and economists in defining the specifications against which control technologies are to be developed. This grouping of skills is also a prerequisite for adaptive research leading to workable strategies for IPM. The starting point for IPM must always be existing practice and development agencies must be more prepared to invest in preparatory studies leading to adequate problem identification.