Insect Pests and Crop Losses

  • Smriti SharmaEmail author
  • Rubaljot Kooner
  • Ramesh Arora


The world population has been galloping upwards at an unprecedented rate during the last 50 years. So far, the modern agricultural technology has enabled us to largely keep pace with the increasing human population through increased productivity of major crops. But in addition to causing environmental deterioration, it has also resulted in increasing losses by pests, pathogens and weeds. There is however a paucity of reliable data on the extent of food losses caused by these biotic agents, especially in the developing countries. The limited data available indicate that arthropods may be destroying an estimated 18–20% of the annual crop production worldwide estimated at a value of more than US$470 billion. Further, the losses are considerably higher in the developing tropics of Asia and Africa, where most of the future increase in world population is expected during the next 50 years. There is an urgent need to precisely estimate the extent of food loss and waste at different stages from the agricultural fields to human consumption with emphasis on the developing countries. This is the necessary first step towards development of safe, economical and sustainable methods of pest management, as well as food security, for the future.


Crop losses Insect pests Global losses Food security Potential food loss 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyPunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Entomology & ZoologyEternal UniversityBaru SahibIndia

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