Social Problems in Pest Management in the Tropics

  • Dale G. Bottrell


Use of synthetic organic chemical pesticides introduced after World War II has resulted in a number of health, environmental, and socioeconomic problems discussed here. Both developed and developing countries have been affected. The problems in the developing countries of the tropics came about largely because of an error in transfer of technology. Pesticide technology developed by and for use in the developed countries was exported to countries with cultures and social structures that were not prepared to absorb this technology. Integrated pest management (IPM), an approach that reduces pest damage to tolerable levels through a variety of techniques, including natural enemies, genetically resistant crops, environmental modifications, and, when necessary and appropriate, chemical pesticides, represents an important trend toward rational management of crop pests in the developing countries. However, simply exporting IPM ‘packages’ from developed to developing countries would also be an error in transfer of technology. Each situation must be evaluated individually under actual farming conditions, and the IPM program must be tailored for the particular group of intended beneficiaries. Some of the interrelated social, attitudinal and institutional factors that should be evaluated are discussed.

Key Words

Socioeconomics social factors pest management integrated pest management crop protection tropics interdisciplinary requirements subsistence agriculture developing countries 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adkisson P. L. (1973) The principles, strategies, and tactics of pest control in cotton. In Insects: Studies in Population Management (Edited by Geier P. W., Clark L. R., Anderson D. J. and Nix H. A.), pp. 274–283. Ecol. Soc. Aust. (memoirs 1), Canberra.Google Scholar
  2. Bottrell D. G. and Smith R. F. (1982) Integrated pest management. Environ. Sci. Technol. 16, 282A-288A.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brader L. (1979) Integrated pest control in the developing world. A. Rev. Ent. 24, 225–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chapin G. and Wasserstrom R. (1981) Agricultural production and malaria resurgence in Central America and India. Nature, Lond. 293, 181–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Copplestone J. F. (1977) A global view of pesticide safety. In Pesticide Management and Insecticide Resistance (Edited by Watson D. L. and Brown A. W. A.), pp. 147–155. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Davies J. E., Smith R. F. and Freed V. (1978) Agromedical approach to pesticide management. A. Rev. Ent. 23, 353–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. FAO/UNEP (1980) Comments on the pest control crisis in Sudanese cotton production. Rep. Ninth Session FAO/UNEP Panel of Experts on Integrated Pest Control. 3 pp. F.A.O., Rome.Google Scholar
  8. Flint M. L. and van den Bosch R. (1981) Introduction to Integrated Pest Management. Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Georghiou G. P. (1980) Implications of the development of resistance to pesticides: basic principles and consideration of countermeasures. Proc. Seminar and Workshop, Pest and Pesticide Management in the Caribbean (Edited by Gooding E. G. B.), pp. 116–129. Consortium Int. Crop Protection, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  10. Glass E. H. and Thurston H. D. (1978) Traditional and modern crop protection in perspective. Bioscience 28, 109–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haskell P. T., Beacock T. and Wortley P. J. (1981) Worldwide socioeconomic constraints to crop protection, pp. 39–41. Proc. IX Int. Congr. Plant Protection. Vol. 1. Plant Protection: Fundamental Aspects. Entomol. Soc. Amer., College Park.Google Scholar
  12. Hildebrand P. E. (1981) Generating technology for traditional farmers—the Guatemalan experience, pp. 31–38. Proc. IX Int. Congr. Plant Protection. Vol. 1. Plant Protection: Fundamental Aspects. Entomol. Soc. Amer. College Park.Google Scholar
  13. ICAITI (1977) An Environmental and Economic Study of the Conseguences of Pesticide Use in Central American Cotton Production. Instituto Centroamericano de Investigacion y Tecnologia Industrial Final Rep., UN Environ. Program Proj. Nos. 0205-73-002 and 0108-75-007.Google Scholar
  14. IOBC (1981) IOBC Special Issue, Int. Organ. Biol. Control Noxious Animals and Plants. Centre Overseas Res. London.Google Scholar
  15. Jennings P. R. (1976) The amplification of agricultural production. Scient. Am. 235, 180–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Metcalf R. L. (1980) Changing role of insecticides in crop protection. A. Rev. Ent. 25, 219–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. NAS (1975) Pest Control: An Assessment of Present Alternative Technologies. Vol. 1. Contemporary Pest Control Practices and Prospects: The Report of the Executive Committee. Natl. Acad. Sci., Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  18. NAS (1977) Supporting Papers: World Food and Nutrition Study. Vol. 1, Natl. Acad. Sci., Washington. D.C.Google Scholar
  19. Norgaard R. B. (1976) The economics of improving pesticide use. A. Rev. Ent. 21, 45–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. PBS (1981) Pesticides and Pills for Export Only. Part 1. Pesticides. Transcript of Television Broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service (Oct. 5), New York.Google Scholar
  21. Revelle R. (1976) The resources available for agriculture. Scient. Am. 235, 164–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Riding A. (1977) Free use of pesticides in Guatemala takes a deadly toll. New York Times, p. 2, (Nov. 9), New York.Google Scholar
  23. Ruthenberg H. (1976) Farming Systems in the Tropics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  24. Smith R. F. (1979) Global impacts of U.S. pesticide assistance and training programs. In Proc. U.S. Strategy Conf. on Pesticide Management, pp. 48–51. U.S. Dep. State and U.S. Natl. Comm. Man and the Biosphere, Washington. D.C.Google Scholar
  25. Smith E. H. (1983) Integrated pest management (IPM)—specific needs of developing countries. Insect Sci. Application 4, 173–177.Google Scholar
  26. Smith R. F. and Adkisson P. L. (1979) Expanding horizons of integrated pest control in crop production. In IX Int. Congr. Plant Protection, Proceedings: Open Session and Plenary Session Symposium, pp. 29–30. Entomol. Soc. Amer., College Park.Google Scholar
  27. USDA (1981) Food Problems and Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa—The Decade of the 1980s. U.S. Dep. Agr., Econ. Res. Ser., Foreign Agr. Res. Rep. No. 166.Google Scholar
  28. Wortman S. (1976) Food and agriculture. Scient. Am. 235, 30–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale G. Bottrell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, Berkeley, Consortium for International Crop ProtectionBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations