IPM for Food and Environmental Security in the Tropics

  • E. A. Heinrichs
  • Rangaswamy Muniappan


The global population, by 2050, is estimated to reach nine billion people. Studies show that during the years 2000–2010, worldwide crop production increased at a rate of 23 % while the number of harvested acres increased at only 9 %. In order for supply to meet the growing demand, farmers need to maximize their yield. In fact, crop yields have fallen in many areas because of declining investments in research and infrastructure, as well as increasing water scarcity, land degradation, climate change and biotic stresses (insect pests, weeds, pathogens and vertebrates).

Innovative crop protection is a vital element in the science behind increasing crop yields. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach has the potential to reduce the probability of catastrophic losses to pests, minimizes the extent of environmental degradation and contributes to food security. The modern concept of pest management is based on ecological principles and includes the integration and synthesis of different components/control tactics into an Integrated Pest Management system. IPM, in turn, is a component of the agroecosystem management technology for sustainable crop production. The IPM control tactics are (1) Biological control: protection, enhancement and release of natural enemies, (2) Cultural practices: crop rotations, sowing time, cover cropping, intercropping, crop residue management, mechanical weed control, (3) Chemical: minimizing the use of synthetic pesticides in favor of biopesticides (fungi, bacteria and viruses) and biochemical pesticides (insect growth regulators, pheromones and hormones—naturally occurring chemicals that modify pest behavior and reproduction and (4) Resistant varieties: varieties bred using conventional, biotechnological and transgenic approaches. The effective transfer of IPM technology and its adoption by farmers are vital in increasing food production. Participatory IPM research, through its involvement of farmers, marketing agents and the public, is designed to facilitate diffusion of IPM technologies. A number of strategies have been implemented over time in efforts to accelerate diffusion of IPM globally. These strategies and their comparative merits are discussed. Fortunately, the science-based Green Revolution, referred to as the Doubly Green Revolution, is underway, tapping into the ongoing revolution in genetics, molecular biology, plant physiology, modern ecology and information technology. “Appropriate plant protection technology” is playing a vital role in the Doubly Green Revolution and the struggle for food security. In this respect, the quote of the Father of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug is appropriate. “The only way that the world can keep up with food production to the levels that are needed with a growing world population is by the improvement of science and technology, and with the right policies that permit the application of that science and technology.”


Biodiversity Biocontrol agents Biopesticides Climate change Ecological engineering Insect pests Plant diseases Resistant varieties Technology transfer Weeds 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IPM Innovation Lab, Asia Program ManagerLincolnUSA
  2. 2.IPM Innovation Lab, OIRED, Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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