|Synopsis on Integrated Pest Management in Developing Countries (NRI, 1991, 20 p.)|
37. The definition of IPM has been the subject of major discussion during the deliberations of the Working Group and the consultancy it established. Some of the issues are considered in earlier sections of the report. Several members subscribed to the view that the term was self-defeating in its assumption that the best solution always requires the 'integration' of components. This is clearly not the case. Nor do circumstances always permit the adoption of a pest management strategy that could be called integrated - or even optimal; such a solution may nevertheless represent a great advance over no action and be therefore desirable. The term 'Appropriate Pest Management' was coined to allow for such situations. Serious consideration was given to recommending its adoption but the majority opinion was that the disadvantage of introducing a new term outweighed the merits of the reformulation. The issue is raised here because it has a bearing on the selection of criteria.
A new method of fungicide application has been developed for reducing losses from black pod and other fungus diseases of cocoa. Copper fungicide is incorporated in a water permeable collar and attached to the top of the pod-bearing trunk. Rainwater distributes copper to all parts of the tree below the collar as well as the soil around the base. The method has the advantage over conventional spraying because it releases and distributes fungicide during the rain when maximum protection is needed.
38. The success of pest management programmes may be judged against a number of individual criteria. Some of these are not exclusive to IPM, though success is more likely to be sustainable if the solutions to pest management problems accord with the philosophy that underlies the IPM approach.
39. The desired outcome of pest management is a reduction in losses arising from pest attack; this must normally be subject to the qualification that the social, environmental and economic cost of inputs must not exceed the value of the increased returns so that there is no net negative impact on farmer livelihood, the consumer or production economics. Specific criteria are associated with technology developments where:
The practice should be robust i.e. sustainable and capable of tailoring to the needs of individual farmers. It should not be dependent on a single component technology and should maximize the involvement of the farmer in decision making;
It should be responsive to the pest situation, linked through monitoring procedures and triggered by clearly identified action thresholds or indicators;
The practice should take account of interactions between different components of the pest complex; action against a particular target pest should be taken after explicitly addressing the likely outcome and implications for other pest management actions;
The component technologies must be within the technical competence and economic means of the farmer to adopt and within his capability to conceptualize;
Priority should be accorded to practices that minimize the application of pesticides and promote their safe and efficient use; explicit consideration should be given to the use of application technologies that do not have a negative impact on natural regulatory agents within the system.