Press Releases

  • IPM-CRSP Virginia Tech, USA and TERI to start second phase of Integrated Pest Management program in India

    4 June 2010

    The second phase will focus on adaptive research, technology transfer and community demonstrations.

    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has begun the second phase (October 2009 to September 2010) of a venture partnering with Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program (IPM CRSP) a USAID-funded program managed by Virginia Tech to promote integrated pest management technologies in tomato, eggplant, okra, cucurbit and crucifer crops.

    Integrated pest management is needed in all areas of the developing world. Pests - insects, diseases, weeds, vertebrates - respect no borders and spread through plant and animal migration, wind and water. Human activity, including travel, trade in plant and animal products, also contributes to this expansion. By developing appropriate strategies to combat these pests, scientists have found that they can increase crop yield while using less pesticide, resulting in better health for the farmer, as well as greater income.

    In India, TERI has two main sites, one in the north, and one in the south.

    In the first phase, TERI worked on transferring IPM technologies for okra, eggplant, tomato and cucurbits in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It also facilitated training, education and capacity-building programmes with the farmers.

    Elaborating on the need for such collaborative research, Dr. R. Muniappan, Program Director of the IPM CRSP, said, "In India, farmers spray their vegetable crops 20 or more times in a growing season. This results in pest resistance to pesticides, the resurgence of pests, excessive pesticide residues in vegetables, soil and water contamination, and poses a significant health risk."

    "The IPM CRSP is introducing alternate technologies to reduce the use of pesticides at the same time as they increase the yield of crops. IPM packages for tomato, eggplant, okra, onion, cucurbit and crucifer crops are currently being developed. Currently, the IPM CRSP collaborates with IPM scientists in six regions of the tropical world, namely, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Africa, East Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In South Asia, the countries involved are India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In India, our partnership with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and TERI provides access to excellent research and education personnel and facilities."

    By addressing IPM, researchers have found that they touch a whole spectrum of development issues, including: reducing pesticide use, increasing the involvement of women, reducing damage to natural ecosystems, reducing crop losses, reducing the loss of biodiversity, making export crops more attractive, improving research and education capabilities, increasing farmer income, and improving agricultural sustainability.

    "In the last phase TERI was able to communicate IPM technologies to over 20,000 households and in the current phase, it plans to introduce these technologies to a minimum of five million households in India by disseminating information through mass media" said Dr. Nutan Kaushik, fellow of TERI.

    In the current phase, TERI will organise adaptive research and community demonstrations at Meerut district in northern India and Kolar and Chithur districts in southern India. TERI will take on some research activities and will participate in IPM package development and technology transfer.