|Agricultural Development and Vector-Borne Diseases (FAO - HABITAT - UNEP - WHO, 1996, 91 p.)|
|Topic J: Plant protection, pest control and chemical inputs|
Slide J.15 Dragonfly on sugar cane, Tamil Nadu, India
FAOs promotional efforts in the field of plant protection have led to the wide spread adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods. In particular, the FAO Regional Rice IPM programme in South East Asia has been successful.
IPM aims to maintain an ecological balance in agricultural production systems as long as possible, with clear decision making criteria for farmers to switch to chemical control when crop damage is expected to pass an established economic threshold.
Predators, such as the dragonfly shown here on sugar cane, and parasites play a crucial role in keeping pest populations under control. Excessive applications of pesticide will have adverse effects on the medium term because the predator populations will take longer to restore than the populations of pest species.
The interface of IPM and Integrated Vector Control (IVC) in agro-ecosystems has been insufficiently explored and should be the subject of further research.