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Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

integrated pest management  New: An updated version of the CropLife International brochure on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is now available. Click here to download the new version. 

Integrated Pest Management or IPM, as it is commonly known, is a system of managing pests designed to be sustainable. IPM involves using the best combination of cultural, biological and chemical measures for particular circumstances, including plant biotechnology as appropriate. This provides the most cost effective, environmentally sound and socially acceptable method of managing diseases, insects, weeds and other pests in agriculture.The plant science industry has endorsed IPM practices for many years, and has publicly declared its commitment to promoting IPM. All CropLife International member companies support and abide by the FAO definition of IPM in its International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides (Article 2): “Integrated Pest Management (IPM) means the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasises the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agroecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms."

IPM is a flexible approach
which makes the best use of all available technologies to manage pest problems effectively and safely.   IPM strategies consist of three basic components:
  • Prevention of pest build-up through use of appropriate crop cultivation methods.
  • Observation of the crop to monitor pest levels, as well as the levels of natural control mechanisms, such as beneficial insects, in order to make the correct decision on the need for control measures.
  • Intervention where control measures are needed.
An elementary principle of effective IPM is to develop pest control strategies that take into account all relevant control tactics and locally available methods, and are sensitive to local environment and social needs. The successful user of IPM will evaluate the potential cost effectiveness of each alternative as well as the whole control strategy. Elements that can be included in an IPM programme are summarised in figure 1.


 Figure 1. Elements of the IPM programme

The plant science industry, represented by CropLife International, provides a wide range of appropriate technologies, services and products that can be incorporated into IPM strategies.  Additionally, IPM principles are included in industry training programmes for farmers and other stakeholders across the world.  A number of training and information documents have been produced to support these programmes, including a web-based training programme – - that has modules on IPM principles, cotton IPM, rice IPM and vegetable IPM.  Ultimately, development and adoption of IPM strategies requires mutual support and collaboration from a range of stakeholders, including government and non-government organisations, international research organisations, distributors, dealers and retailers, and farmers themselves.

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