Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


Praise for new website on African crop pest
03 April 2014 Lancaster University

The UK’s Global Food Security Champion says a Lancaster University website about the African armyworm will help to combat the pest.

Armyworm Network provides important information for farmers in Africa plagued by this devastating pest.

Professor Tim Benton said: “The new website will be a valuable resource for all farmers, governments and others whose lives have been impacted by this major pest of cereal crops in Africa. The forecasts the site provides will be particularly useful for farmers and governments to plan armyworm control activities”.

Armyworms are the caterpillar stage of a moth that migrates throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is a serious pest of all the main cereal crops, including maize (sweetcorn), rice, millet, sorghum and wheat, as well as pasture grasses, threatening food security in the region.

A cattle farmer from South Africa, who has had armyworms on his pastures for the second year running, said: “I went out early this morning and found hundreds of them on our fields. Last year they destroyed all of our winter grazing (150 hectares), despite our best efforts to control them.

“The website of your university, thousands of kilometres away, was the only comprehensive site I could find with useful information.”

Visitors to the new website can email directly experts in African armyworm biology and control, including Professor Ken Wilson from the Lancaster Environment Centre, who developed the website.

He said, “It is fantastic to be able to launch the new website. The previous site was extremely popular, especially with farmers in Africa and with international agencies wanting to know more about this important crop pest. The new website contains so much more information and is also much easier to navigate”.

The new Armyworm Network provides information and forecasts for large- and small-scale farmers in Africa, as well as for governments, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, journalists and other stakeholders. It replaces and improves upon its predecessor, which received more than 10,000 visitors from 30 countries during the five years it was operational.

It provides visitors with more information about the biology of this major crop pest, how it can be controlled, current research developing a new biological pesticide against it , press reports of armyworm outbreaks, publications, a live Twitter feed, and regular forecasts issued by international pest monitoring organizations.



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Joint venture of ADAMA Agricultural Solutions, Israeli Ministry of Education, Beer Sheva Municipality and Rashi Foundation
MARCH 31, 2014 09:00 AM EDT

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Feeding the world in an age of diminishing resources is the focus of a unique exhibition sponsored by ADAMA Agricultural Solutions that opened last week at Carasso Science Park in Beer Sheva, Israel.
“We are delighted to assume a role in supporting the education about one of the most complex global problems of the 21st century, since our core focus combines science, technology and agriculture to create simplicity for farmers and farming,” said Rony Patishi-Chillim, SVP Business Development and Corporate communication. “Our involvement in this exhibition builds on our rich heritage in the Negev and Southern Israel, where our manufacturing plants are located and much of the innovative agriculture in Israel has been developed. The exhibition highlights our emphasis on promoting scientific education and broader understanding of the farming profession.”
Interactive exhibits allow visitors to experience the challenges that face today’s farmers as the demand for food increases while available land for planting decreases. Visitors can learn about the technological complexity of modern day agriculture, and of the global threats to plants and crops: demography, climate conditions, the shortage of water and land, soil degradation, and pests.
Scientific and technological solutions to these challenges are also explored in the exhibits, such as crop protection and treatment solutions that increase yield while simplifying the life of farmers. Innovative ways of meeting the challenges are shown, along with the global problems that can arise from the use of these technologies.
“The Park offers an introduction to the science and technology that surround us in our daily lives, through modern tools and language,” said Meir Bakshi, CEO at Carasso Science Park. “The new crop protection exhibition is an excellent example of Israeli-developed technological solutions to real-world problems. The park combines interactive education and hands-on experience through which visitors learn about the scientific solutions of an Israeli-global company facing the challenge of food.”
The crop protection exhibition is one of 10 indoor and outdoor science and technology exhibitions currently on display in the 180 thousand square foot science park. Subjects covered include light and vision, energy, communications, molecular biology, and genetics.
About ADAMA Agricultural Solutions
ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd., formerly known as Makhteshim Agan Industries, is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of crop-protection solutions, and the leading off-patent provider. The Company supplies efficient solutions to farmers across the full farming value-chain, including crop-protection, novel agricultural technologies, and complementary non-crop businesses. In 2013, the Company’s revenues were over $3 billion, and it is ranked seventh in the world in the overall agro-chemicals industry. The Company is characterized by its innovation, farmer-centric approach to product development, and strict standards of environmental protection and quality control. For more information, visit us at http://www.ma-industries.com.
Anna Wood
Email: IR@ma-industries.com
Phone: +972-73-232-1131

SOURCE ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd
Published March 31, 2014
Copyright © 2014 SYS-CON Media, Inc. — All Rights Reserved.
Syndicated stories and blog feeds, all rights reserved by the author.


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New tools and farmer training could revolutionize pesticide management in West Africa / Studies reveal extent of risks from pesticides in the region, show that field schools can dramatically cut their use

Field schools that train farmers in alternative methods of pest control have succeeded in nearly eliminating the use of toxic pesticides by a community of cotton growers in Mali, according to a new FAO study published today by the London-based Royal Society.

The study was conducted in two areas – the Bla region of southern Mali, where FAO established a field school program in 2003, and a second area, Bougouni, where the program was not yet active.

While only 34 percent of all cotton-farmers in the area participated in the program, pesticide use on all of Bla’s cotton farms – more than 4,300 households – dropped a staggering 92 percent. FAO’s study further found that the move away from pesticide use had no negative impact on yields.

The Bougouni area, where training has not yet taken place, saw no change in pesticide use over the same eight-year period. This suggests that knowledge of alternative methods in pest control was further disseminated by program participants to other farmers in the area, underscoring the potential of farmer field schools to act as catalysts for widespread practice change.

Slashing their use of chemicals and shifting to alternative “biopesticides” like neem tree extract, growers in the Bla study group reduced their average individual production costs. (See box below for more on integrated pest management).

By refraining from applying more than 47,000 liters of toxic pesticides, the farmers saved nearly half a million dollars over the study period.

Training farmers in alternative methods of pest control proved to be three times more cost-effective than purchasing and using synthetic pesticides, according to FAO’s analysis. More than 20,000 cotton farmers have been through field schools in Mali.

“We must learn from farmers’ experience. Pragmatic, field-based and farmer-centric education can and must play a key role in making agriculture stronger and more sustainable,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. “At the end of the day, sustainable intensification will be the result of the collective action of millions of small farmers, who through their daily decisions determine the trajectory of agricultural ecosystems across the world.”

An important crop

Cotton is the principal engine of economic development in Mali, where an estimated 4 million farmers grow the high-value crop, accounting for 8-9 percent of Mali’s GDP and providing as much as 75 percent of the country’s export earnings.

Usage of pesticides in Malian cotton doubled between 1995 and 2001, but yields nonetheless fell due to increasing resistance among pests.

New tools for monitoring risks

Two related studies from the same FAO project also published today by the Royal Society – authored by Oregon State University (OSU) scientists together with researchers in West Africa and at various institutions, including FAO – reveal the extent to which pesticide use in West Africa poses risks to human health and environment.

One of these studies, conducted in 19 different communities in five West African countries, used state-of-the-art risk assessment models to provide the first detailed analysis of pesticide risks for this region. The results highlight a number of specific pesticides that pose widespread and significant threats to human health and terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region.

The study also found that farmer workers and family members, including children are routinely exposed to high concentrations of toxic pesticides such as methamidophos and dimethoate, in the crops where they work. Protective clothing that reduces pesticide exposure is largely unknown in West Africa, and reports of ill health, hospitalization and death due to chemical exposure by farm workers are not uncommon.

Lead author Paul Jepson of the Integrated Plant Protection Center at OSU states “we were shocked to find such widespread use of highly toxic organophosphate pesticides, but by carefully studying and quantifying their use, we provide a basis for much needed action by policy makers, researchers and educators.”

The authors suggest that a three-pronged approach to pesticide risk management, including monitoring systems to enable science-based decision-making, functional regulatory systems and effective farmer education programs.

The third study from the FAO project reports on the first use in the region of passive sampling devices (PSDs), developed by Oregon State University, which are technologically simple tools that sequester and concentrate a wide variety of pesticides and other chemicals found in the environment. The tool is a major advancement for monitoring pollution in remote areas of less developed regions.

PSD samples were deployed and then simultaneously analyzed in African and U.S. laboratories, as a proof of this concept. This opens the possibility for widespread analysis of pesticides in West African surface waters.

All three papers appearing today in the Royal Society journal were co-financed by a six-country regional project, financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and executed by FAO, Reducing Dependence on Persistent Organic Pollutants and other Agro-Chemicals in the Senegal and Niger River Basins through Integrated Production, Pest and Pollution Management.

According to William Settle, who coordinates the FAO project in Mali: “This effort has facilitated a partnership between scientists around the globe and West African counterparts – the results are striking, and have the potential to transform the conversation about pesticide risks and sustainable crop management in this ecologically fragile region.”

FAO undertakes its work on pesticide management in West Africa through close working partnerships with governments in the region as well as organizations such as the CERES Locustox Laboratory and ENDA-Pronat group in Senegal and Oregon State University’s Integrated Plant Protection Center.

Financing for the FAO programme been provided by the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands, and a GEF/UNEP grant.

Farmer Field Schools and integrated pest management

FAO’s West African Regional Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme (IPPM), established in 2001, is currently active in seven countries in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. Approximately 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have employed a field-school approach and 90 countries world-wide.

Using a “farmer field school” (FSS) approach, the program engages with farming communities to introduce discovery-based methods for field testing, adapting, and then adopting improved farming practices.

IPPM consists of environmental-friendly approaches to tackling pest problems, such as introducing beneficial predator insects, using natural biopesticides, or adopting cropping practices that ensure that plants are healthy and resistant when pest attacks are mostly likely to occur.

In most places, the approach is relatively simple to adopt using locally available materials. It relies heavily on prevention, and on farmers prioritizing early detection of problems and knowing their response options.

To date the FAO-IPPM program has trained approximately 180,000 farmers in West Africa and more than 2,000 trainers from government extension, cotton companies, farmer organizations and NGOs. The programme is expanding to new countries in the region.


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Looking to brush up on your pest management skills? Register now to ensure your spot at this pioneering workshop designed to serve specialty crop, field crop and landscape professionals.

Michigan State University Extension is pleased to announce that the third annual Integrated Pest Management Academy will be held Feb. 18-19, 2014, at the Okemos Conference Center in Okemos, Mich., located just outside of East Lansing, Mich. The 2014 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Academy is a two-day workshop packed full of information to help you improve your IPM practices on farm and take advantage of all the great resources MSU has to offer.

The presenters at this program include a number of MSU’s best and brightest research and Extension faculty, offering a rare opportunity to hear from experts working in a variety of disciplines and cropping systems at a single event. The first day of the program will cover fundamental topics including: IPM strategies for disease and insect control; promoting and protecting pollinators; alternative weed control strategies; pesticide basics; the impacts of weather on pesticides; invasive pests; and IPM resources from MSU. On the second day of the workshop, participants opt into two, half-day sessions focused on the topic of their choice. This year, the day two sessions include the following options.

Morning sessions

Soil health: What is it, Why is it Important, and How Can it be Managed?
Soil is one of the most important, but often the ignored components of successful plant production. Understanding the importance of soil management and how soil interacts with nutrients, water and pesticides will be explored during this session. Attendees are encouraged to bring soil test results to get a personal recommendation for their site and crops. This a cross commodity session, everyone’s welcome.

Landscape Design and IPM: Getting it Right from the Start
Many landscape plant problems are rooted in poor design or poor plant selection. This session will feature a discussion on landscape design, placement and selection of ornament plants and their implications when dealing with pest management in landscapes. This session may be of interest to landscape professionals or backyard enthusiasts.

Stewardship of Pesticides in Michigan Field Crops
Farmers use many tools to manage weeds, insects and diseases in their cropping system. Still, chemical controls are often favored for their ability to provide efficient and effective crop protection. This session will offer an overview of the many pesticide options available to field crop producers, discuss their modes of action and highlight management strategies that can be used to limit the development of pesticide resistance as well as practices that can be used to manage pest populations that already exhibit resistance.

Hops: Getting Started
The morning hop session will cover an introduction to hops, soils and site selection, understanding soil and tissue testing, variety selection, trellising, irrigation and establishment costs.

Afternoon sessions

Hop Management
The afternoon hop session will cover planting and training hops, fertilizer and nutrient requirements, common insect mite and disease problems, scouting for insects and diseases, weed management, and harvesting and processing hops.

Ecologically Based Fruit Pest Management
Growing fruit can be an input-intensive, challenging endeavor. Session participants will learn about ecologically sound preventative pest actions, pest management approaches, and horticultural practices that can help lessen the challenge of growing fruit.

Managing Pests in Diverse Vegetable Rotations
Michigan growers produce a wide diversity of vegetables at many different scales, which are challenged by a sometimes overwhelming diversity of insect, disease and weed pests. This session aims to introduce conventional and organic growers to an integrated set of control tactics—including cultural, chemical, mechanical and biological approaches—that can be used to manage pests in an economically and environmentally sound way.

Solving the Puzzle: IPM Planning and Implementation for Real-world Field Crops Systems
Integrated pest management makes sense on paper, but how do you fit this broad philosophy into a real-world cropping system? In this session we will discuss how to develop a farm IPM plan that encourages pest management decisions that focus on maintaining efficiency and maximizing profitability. In addition, a panel of farmers will share with participants how they have successfully incorporated IPM principles into their farm plans.

Emerging Pest Problems of Michigan Landscapes 
New or invasive pests can cause significant economic and ecological damage. This session will review current and potential pest problems to Michigan landscapes such as oak wilt, hemlock woolly adelgid, thousand canker disease, Asian longhorn beetle and more.


The cost of this event is $225. Please note that snacks, lunch and parking are included. Participants also receive a notebook with program material and a complimentary IPM-related MSU bulletin. Michigan pesticide recertification credits will be available; the exact number will be based on session selection, but participants can expect at least six credits (private or commercial core available).

For more information on the program, a full agenda or registration, visit http://bit.ly/ipm-academy14. To register by phone, contact Betsy Braid at braidbet@msu.edu or 517-884-7081.

This program was developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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MSU Extension is now offering Integrated Pest Management Academy Online, a series of online prerecorded webinars available to the public. Commercial and private core pesticide recertification credits are available for Michigan applicators. No registration or fees are required.

This series of integrated pest management on-demand webinars have been created to help Michigan growers identify pest management resources and understand IPM basics. Viewers can earn up to four pesticide recertification credits.

To access the webinars go to http://bit.ly/ipmwebinars. Accommodations for people with disabilities may be requested by contacting Erin Lizotte at taylo548@msu.edu.

The following webinars are currently available for viewing:

Introduction to Integrated Pest Management: Learn about the history of pest management, the evolution of IPM and the tenets that define implementation in the field.

Integrated Pest Management Resources: Learn about IPM resources available from Michigan State University and MSU Extension.

Entomology 101: In this compact session on insects, learn the vocabulary to help you properly identify insects and better understand the role of insects in the world.

Plant Pathology 101: This introductory webinar covers the basics of plant pathogens and introduces viewers to some popular control methods.

Soil Science 101: This webinar highlights the importance of soil characteristics and their potential impacts on agricultural producers.

Plant Science 101: Learn the basics of plant anatomy and physiology — particularly handy for those who struggle with weed identification.

Pesticides 101: An introduction to mode of action, pesticide resistance and factors that impact efficacy.

Insect Scouting in Fruit Crops: This primer offers a fruit-specific module on how insect scouting occurs in the real world.

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BCPC launches new online Manual of Biocontrol Agents

BCPC launches new online Manual of Biocontrol Agents

The new 5th edition of BCPC’s Manual of Biocontrol Agents – a toolbox for biocontrol and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – was launched as an online resource at the Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (ABIM), in Basel, Switzerland in October.

“In my lifetime the world population has doubled and it is forecast to double again by 2050,” explains editor, Dr Roma Gwynn. “Alongside many other issues, this increase puts tremendous pressure on farmable land, requiring a doubling in output per unit area. If we are to conserve biological resources and ensure food security in a sustainable way, we need to use the best crop protection technology and methods available. Integrated Pest Management – including the use of biological control agents such as macro-organisms, micro-organisms, botanicals and semiochemicals – will play an important part, and it is encouraging that demand for and availability of these technologies is increasing rapidly.”

The Manual of Biocontrol Agents can support this progress, having been substantially revised to reflect the growth and maturity of the global biocontrol industry. All the active substances and products that are included are commercially available. And being an online resource it can be updated quickly and regularly ensuring accurate and comprehensive information is available on more than 300 active substances including: 100+ macro-organisms, 120+ micro-organisms, 40+ botanicals and 50+semiochemicals. The data provided for each active substance includes information on: the products, biological activity, toxicology, resistance codes, nomenclature, targets and companies.

Compiled by experts in the biocontrol industry the Manual of Biocontrol Agents is an invaluable resource whether you are a grower, researcher or regulator. And for those who still love paper – a book will be available early in 2014.

To subscribe to this unique resource visit www.bcpcdata.com. A single user annual subscription costs £295 + VAT, discounts are available for ABIM members. For multiple users and intranet access contact: publications@bcpc.org Tel: 01420 593200 for a quotation.

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Dr. Brianne Reeves with BASF Crop Protection has a DPM from the University of Florida – that would be a plant doctor, not a foot doctor.

We interviewed the lovely and talented Dr. Reeves a couple of times this year but I never knew she was a fellow Gator until last week when she talked to the Southern Media Symposium about her background. Even though her dad and grandfather were both in agriculture, Brianne says she’s actually “not a farm girl.” She was born in Nebraska but grew up in South Florida where her father was in the citrus business.

uf-pmdBrianne got her Bachelor’s degree in agronomy from UF and then went on into the Doctor of Plant Medicine program. “It was right up my alley,” she said. “Very multi-disciplinary graduate program that really covers anything that would affect a plant’s growth … so it really set me up for success in a career in agriculture.”

Brianne says her education continues with BASF. “Specifically within the Professional Development Program (PDP) which is how I came into BASF,” she said. Brianne encourages other young people who think about a career in agriculture. “You don’t have to be a farm girl or a farm boy to want to do agriculture,” she said. “Do what your heart tells you.”

Listen to my interview with Brianne here: Interview with Dr. Brianne Reeves, BASF

BASF Southern Media Symposium and SWSS Contest photo album

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Two books highlight crop protection research in Micronesia

NGAREMLEGUI STATE, PALAU. Dr. Aurora G. Del Rosario, Researcher/Extension Specialist, Palau Community College Research and Development Station.

For the past 20 years, research in Crop Protection proved to be a successful undertaking. Research culminated in the publication of two important books on crop protection.

Economic Entomology of Micronesia

Economic Entomology of Micronesia

The first publication written by Nelson Esguerra and Aurora Del Rosario is a 214-page book entitled “Economic Entomology in Micronesia” published by PCC-CRE and College of Micronesia in 2007. It showcases biological information on 84 major pests of crops in Micronesia which are described and augmented by 369 colored photographs of the damage and different life stages. Students in agricultural science as well as researchers and extension agents will find this book very useful.

Biological Control Introductions in the Freely Associated States of Micronesia

Biological Control Introductions in the Freely Associated States of Micronesia

The second book published by the COM Land Grant Program is entitled “Biological Control Introductions in the Freely Associated States of Micronesia”. It is a 136 –page document which covers the use of good insects to control pests of crops in the Freely Associated States of Micronesia from 1986 to 2009. Primarily, it involved introducing biological control agents in the Republic of Marshall Islands, the four island states of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. Many of the introduced good insects reduced the target pests to non-damaging levels in these island nations. It also includes some biological control agents that remained in the islands and continuously controlled the pests despite releasing those 10-15 years ago. The authors are Nelson Esguerra, Aurora Del Rosario and Thomas Taro.

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Innovation That’s Making a Difference: Integrated Pest Management in South Asia

March 14, 2013
Marty McVey, USAID Board for International Food and Agricultural Development | Feed the Future | Blog
Marty McVeyMarty McVey learns more about the IPM Innovation Lab’s work in tomato grafting with Rangaswamy Muniappan of Virginia Tech .

The Hon. Marty McVey is a member, appointed by the U.S. president, of USAID’s Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD).

The BIFAD advises and makes recommendations to the USAID Administrator on food security, development efforts, and implementation of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. It also monitors progress.

During his second trip in January with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab: Collaborative Research on Integrated Pest Management (formerly the Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program), McVey visited food security projects in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. India is a strategic partner with Feed the Future, and Bangladesh and Nepal are Feed the Future focus countries.

We asked McVey a few questions about his visit and the exciting collaborations and progress he observed.

First, tell us a little about your trip. Where did you go and why were you there?

I accompanied a team of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovation Lab personnel from Virginia Tech, Penn State, and the Ohio State University to South Asia to review the activities of the IPM Innovation Lab in this part of the world. I attended workshops, regional planning meetings, toured facilities of private sector and NGO partners), and met with U.S. Ambassadors, USAID Mission directors, partner scientists, farmers, and members of farming cooperatives in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

The purpose of my trip was to see how Feed the Future’s goals are being accomplished, particularly through the work of the IPM Innovation Lab with its many partners and programs in South Asia. What I learned was encouraging.

Who did you spend time with during the trip? How did you see various food security actors, particularly from the research community, interacting and working together to achieve Feed the Future goals on the ground? 

In Bangladesh, scientists from all three countries I visited, as well as representatives from USAID and The World Vegetable Center, attended a regional planning meeting for the IPM Innovation Lab’s Southeast Asia project. Interaction among scientists from the United States and host countries was lively and facilitated collaboration.

While visiting with the vice chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India and our partnering scientists at that institution, I observed their strong commitment to working with us to foster increased use of organic farming methods.

In India, scientists from Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, and Guatemala—supported by Feed the Future through  the IPM Innovation Lab—attended a biocontrol workshop centered on the use of Trichoderma (a beneficial fungus used to attack fungi with deleterious effects) and Pseudomonas (a beneficial bacterium). Each of the scientists gave a presentation on the work they were doing in their home country. Through this kind of support, Feed the Future is exponentially expanding its impact and providing opportunities for scientists to learn new techniques. Those scientists then return home and share what they’ve learned, which translates to better in-country capacity.

The IPM Innovation Lab has also partnered with the Biocontrol Research Lab, a private company in India that produces biocontrol products to help farmers safely grow highly productive crops.

Through this partnership, farmers can learn about the benefits of using biocontrol methods to control pests and plant diseases and with the increased income they generate through these methods they are able to expand their use of such products. Companies find a viable niche in the economy. Everybody wins: Farmers increase their incomes without depleting or harming the soil and environment, companies are successful, and local communities have more and healthier produce to buy and consume. Public-private partnerships like this are helping to ensure that food security efforts in India are sustainable.

In each country I visited, the USAID Missions were pleased with the work of the IPM Innovation Lab and expressed that IPM Innovation Lab efforts are helping to achieve impact in advancing food security. In Bangladesh and Nepal, they are working to implement IPM packages (a set of techniques designed for a particular crop) in Feed the Future target regions.

What impact did you see the IPM Innovation Lab having? How was it making a difference? 

In Nepal, pheromone trap technology introduced by the IPM Innovation Lab is helping coffee producers manage the white stem borer of coffee, a serious pest in the region. Classical biocontrol of the papaya mealybug, thanks to an IPM Innovation Lab initiative, has restored production of papaya, mulberry, cassava, eggplant, and other crops to the pre-incidence level in southern India. And in Bangladesh, the IPM Innovation Lab helped successfully reverse the decline in eggplant production, a staple crop, by introducing eggplant grafting in 2004 to combat bacterial wilt. The farmers were very appreciative of this initiative.

The adoption of Trichoderma and Pseudomonas in vegetable farming in India is extensive. In Bangladesh, Trichoderma is produced with compost and distributed to farmers. The adoption of culture to attract and kill the melon fly on bitter gourd farms in Bangladesh is also very popular. The popularization of Trichoderma throughout the tropical world is spectacular and should be continued as it makes such a difference in the lives of smallholder farmers.

From your tweets, it looks like you spent some time with smallholder farmers. How was the IPM Innovation Lab working with them, particularly women farmers? What did the farmers have to say?

There are many success stories coming out of these countries regarding integrated pest management (IPM) thanks to the involvement of the IPM Innovation Lab. The farmers themselves are perhaps the most inspiring.

One of the biggest stories for me was my colleague’s account of a visit to a village near Kathmandu, Nepal. In this small village, women have been so successful at using IPM techniques that they are able to buy clothes for their children, pay for more schooling for them, and even build houses with the extra income they generate.

At another farmers’ cooperative, I learned that while it only has 27 members, 500 people benefit from the work of the organization. A woman sits at the head of this group. The members of this organization are able to make small loans to other members, allowing them to buy materials for building greenhouses, drip irrigation systems, sticky traps, or pheromones. All of this is allowing women farmers to sustainably grow more and healthier produce.

At a coffee plantation in Nepal I heard this story repeated: “Ninety percent of the beans that we grow are of better quality since we started using IPM techniques,” one woman said. And I learned from our collaborating partner in Nepal, iDE, that it focuses on working with women because they’re more reliable and committed than the men, and they are also better savers.

What encouraged you most about this trip, the projects you saw, and the people you met?

I was most inspired by the difference that Feed the Future, through the IPM Innovation Lab, is making in the lives of women farmers. I saw this with the women agricultural students and farmers who I met at the Sri Avinashilingam Krishi Vigyan Kendra University in India and with the women farmers who I met in Nepal.Marty talks to a woman farmer

Women farmers see firsthand how using biocontrol methods produces vegetables and crops that are safer and of better quality. They are using the extra income to improve the lives of their families. And they are forming organizations to extend the benefits to each other through loans. They’re also extending benefits beyond their organizations by working with other women’s cooperatives.

During my visit to the women’s agricultural university, I spoke to a large group of several hundred women farmers. It was encouraging to see these young women take a positive step for their own future and that of their communities by investing in themselves and in the future of agriculture through higher education. The university is set up such that it not only trains women in agriculture, but it also encourages small businesses by training students in activities such as fabric production and handcrafts.

What key messages will you take back to the BIFAD on the value/success of the IPM Innovation Lab?

Overall, the progress toward Feed the Future’s goals was encouraging.

South-South collaboration is strong and yielding results. The biocontrol workshop at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University was an example of this. By providing training to promising young scientists in other developing countries, the program is extending the benefits of IPM methods.

The research and practitioner community is flexible, responding to new challenges as they arise. Policy-makers sometimes lag behind. As scientists learn of new invasive pests and diseases, they are quick to adapt, figuring out new solutions to challenges on the ground. Government officials often lag behind in understanding the importance of acting quickly and red tape can slow effective techniques.

Women are making strides. Where women are allowed or encouraged to have agency in their lives, they are making a huge difference.

While adopting new strategies is risky for subsistence farmers, once they see results they become evangelists. To the subsistence farmer, new practices are suspect: If you are just barely getting by, why try something that may remove even that tiny profit altogether? And yet, from my visits to farming villages and through meeting with farmer collectives and speaking with farmers themselves, I learned that once a farmer sees (often through demonstration plots) that these new methods can work, they become enthusiastic advocates.

Public-private partnerships are promising. Public-private partnerships across the countries we serve through the IPM Innovation Lab were inspiring, with strong partners in every country that are helping create self-sustaining programs.

Change is incremental, but nonetheless effective. While we don’t always get a dramatic splash for our investments dollars in the developing world, it is money well spent. The smile on the face of a woman who has built a house using money she earned from IPM methods is invaluable. The pride of the young women embarking on higher level agricultural studies was inspiring. The enthusiasm of our scientist partners from developing countries attending the biocontrol workshop was gratifying as well. Often, as I mentioned above, it can be difficult to persuade a farmer to adopt new methods. But once we do, and are successful, word of mouth spreads to other farmers and villages and extends across a region. Over time, this has a huge impact.

Follow McVey on Twitter for more on his trip and future updates. McVey will brief the public on his trip at the BIFAD board of directors meeting this Friday, March 15. Check out the webcast on Friday. We’ll also post the meeting minutes later on the USAID website. 

View more photos from McVey’s trip. 

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13th International IPM Congress

Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Production

The Integrated Pest Management Congress is held every two years in different countries to bring together experts on the subject to share and analyze the technical, scientific and methodological progress that has taken place in the field in recent years  and other related subjects. It is directed at researchers, technicians, professors, agricultural producers, students and industry representatives interested in presenting their work and updating their knowledge in the field. The Conference will include lectures, symposiums and simultaneous presentations on different subjects, as well as a part with posters, banners and commercial exhibitions. In addition, pre-Congress courses will be offered, dealing with IPM-related subjects in greater depth.

Directed at:

Researchers,  technicians,  professors,  producers,  students and the agricultural industry in general.

Event date:

October 17, 18 and 19, 2012

Event locale:

Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Hotel Honduras Maya

Web page



Kind of Participant







General public

$ 165.00

$ 140.00

Before August 31


$ 100.00

$ 75.00

Before August 31

*Students are required to present their student ID card.

The registration fee includes educational materials, an attendance certificate, participation in all of the scientific and social activities, as well as food (coffee breaks, lunch and a welcome cocktail the first day; coffee break, lunch and dinner the second day, and lunch and coffee break the final day).

Ways of participating in the Congress

You may participate as:

  • A sponsor through different sponsorship categories and forms, which are described in the “Forms of Sponsorship” section.
  • A presenter of a research paper on one of the subjects enumerated in the following section.
  • Simply as a participant in the Congress.


The subjects for presentation of summaries are the following:

  • Diagnostics in the 21st century: new technologies for diagnosing pathogens.
  • Food Safety
  • Extension technologies
  • Innovations in pest control
  • Biotechnology in phytoprotection
  • Integrated management of urban, industrial and livestock pests
  • Weeds
  • Miscellaneous

 Information about the guidelines for the delivery and presentation of summaries can be requested at the following email address: congresomip2012@zamorano.edu from Ms. Paola Domínguez.


In the framework of the 13th International Integrated Pest Management, the following pre-Congress courses will be held on October 15 and 16 of this year:

  1. Herbicides: Application and Mode of Action

Directed at: Professional who work in the sale and/or application of herbicides.

Place: Panamerican Agricultural School. Zamorano.

Date: October 15 and 16, 2012

Capacity: 100 people

The course focuses on:

  • Herbicide application (nozzles, water, fertilizers and other additives)
  • Herbicide absorption by roots and leaves
  • Interaction between herbicides and the soil
  • Herbicide movement in xylem and phloem
  • Frequent mistakes in herbicide application
  • The selectivity of herbicides (Why are crops unaffected by certain herbicides?)
  • Herbicides’ modes of action (How do herbicide kill weeds?)
  • Discussion of the most widely used herbicides in Central America.
  • The technology of herbicide-resistant crops and the development of resistant weeds.


Dr. Ian Zelaya, Syngenta

Dr. Mike Owen, Iowa State University.

Dr. Steve Weller, Purdue University

Dr. Abelino Pitty, Zamorano

  1. Massive Multiplication of Trichogramma parasitoids

Directed at: Agricultural Engineers and specialists in entomology interested in learning about the biological fundamentals and the technical particulars of massive multiplications of Trichogramma parasitoids.

Place: Panamerican Agricultural School.

Date: October 15 and 16, 2012

The course focuses on:

  • Presentation of the taxonomic, biological and ecological characteristics of trichogramma parasitoids, which explains their success as biological control agents.
  • Historical summary of research on and use of trichogramma parasitoids in the world and especially in Uruguay.
  • Bases and characteristics of a trichogramma production unit.
  • Requirements and particularities of trichogramma release techniques.
  • Case studies of application of trichogramma parasitoids based on ecological fundamentals.


Dr. César Basso, Agronomy Department, Universidad de la República de Uruguay.

  1. Use of entomopathogenic nematodes for pest control: an opportunity for benefitting agricultural producers

Directed at professional and technicians in the agricultural sciences who work with crops in private enterprise, professionals of government organizations, students and researchers.

Place: Panamerican Agricultural School.

Date: October 15 and 16, 2012

Capacity: 50 people

The course focuses on:

  • Biology of entomopathogenic nematodes.
  • Isolation of entomopathogenic nematodes.
  • Isolation and importance of symbiotic bacteria
  • In vivo production.
  • In vitro production in solid and liquid mediums. Importance of the geometry of the leavening agent.


  • Adriana Sáenz Aponte, MSc, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia
  • Norberto Chavarría Hernández, PhD. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico.
  1. Diagnosis of plant pathogens through final-point PCR and real-time PCR.

Directed at: Professionals in the agricultural, biological or microbiological sciences who work in research laboratories, educational institutions and industry.

The course focuses on: using a combination of theory and practice for the diagnosis of plant pathogens through in vitro replication and detection of DNA fragments.

  • Techniques for collecting and transporting samples prior to analysis.
  • Procedure for extracting DNA from the vegetable tissue for analysis.
  • Procedures for real-time PCR and final-point PCR, applications, advantages and disadvantages.
  • The procedures for displaying and interpreting the results.

Capacity: 15 people

Duration: 4 days. October 8, 9, 10 and 11

Instructor:  Estela Yamileth Aguilar, coordinator of the pathogen diagnosis and research laboratory in Zamorano’s Agronomy Department.

To register to the congress or pre-congress courses visit http://www.zamorano.edu/congresomip2012


There are a number of actors that play key roles in the IPM area in the region, and it very important for the Organizing Committee to count on the support and presence of these companies at the Congress.

In addition to being a Congress participant, it is possible to participate in the Congress as a sponsor, and there are different sponsorship forms.

The following are the different opportunities:

  1. Deposit the desired quantity in cash ($).

 There are 3 categories:

  •  Diamond IPM Sponsor (More than $ 1,100)

A Diamond Sponsorship gives the right to registration fees for 2 Congress participants, the placement of the company logo in event publicity and Congress documents (invitations, a digital summary of the Congress to be delivered to each participant), a link to the company web site on the Congress web page, Zamorano digital bulletins and a “Diamond IPM Sponsorship” recognition during the event.

  • Platinum IPM Sponsor (From $600 to $1,100)

A Platinum Sponsorship gives the right to a registration fee for 1 Congress participant, the placement of the company logo in event publicity and Congress documents (invitations, a digital summary of the Congress to be delivered to each participant) and a “Platinum IPM Sponsorship” recognition during the event.

  • Gold IPM Sponsor (From $100 to $599)

A Gold Sponsorship gives the right to the placement of the company logo in event publicity and Congress documents (invitations, a digital summary of the Congress to be delivered to each participant) and a “Gold IPM Sponsorship” recognition during the event.

  1. 2.     Sponsor one or more of the 5 coffee breaks at the Congress

 If a company chooses to sponsor one or more of the planned coffee breaks, it will be able to make short presentations about the company and/or its products during the 15-minute break, providing informative brochures or showing a brief video presentation about the company. Likewise, they can place banners and other promotional materials to promote the company’s products in the room where the coffee break will be held.

  • 3.     Sponsor part of the welcome cocktail event

One or more companies could participate in this sponsorship option so that, at the moment of welcoming the participants, they can be exposed to different important regional IPM institutions. This is also an opportunity for the sponsoring companies to provide the participants with publicity about their companies or their products.

  1. 4.     Sponsor one or more of the 3 lunches at the Congress

This option also provides an opportunity to make presentations about the company and/or its products during the 90-minute lunch period, providing informative brochures or showing a video presentation about the company. Likewise, they can place banners and other promotional materials to promote the company’s products in the room where the lunch will be held. This space will be designated for promotional purposes.

  1. 5.     Sponsor transportation of a tour for the attendees who wish to tour Zamorano to observe IPM activities in the area.

This option allows a company to provide a company bus with its name and logo to transport the participants on the tour; alternatively a company may deposit the money so that we can contract the transportation service. As in the other options, this provides an opportunity for a company to promote itself and its products.

  1. 6.      Sponsorship through the purchase of Congress-related Souvenirs

The following are products or souvenirs that will provide lasting memories of the Congress and are ideal gifts for the participants in the 13th International Integrated Pest Management Congress.

There are products including tote bags, pens, briefcases and thermoses for hot or cold drinks.

In addition to being useful for the participants, these products can serve as promotional tools for your companies and/or their products where (depending on the product you decide to sponsor) we will print your company logo alongside that of the IPM Congress.

In the event that a company is interested in sharing the costs of the same gift the spaces for printing logos will be shared.

For further details regarding souvenir type, payment mount or any other doubt, please communicate with Ms. Paola Domínguez at the following email: congresomip2012@zamorano.edu


For any further information required:

Contact person: Ms. Paola Domínguez

Cell phone number: (504) 94632923

Email: congresomip2012@zamorano.edu

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