The Latest News
May 10, 2018: Virginia Tech Collaborator Accepts Award for Scientific Excellence
Laouali Amadou, a Ph.D. student studying entomology at the University of Niger, has won the Award for Scientific Excellence from the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). The award is presented to a student working in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab who has demonstrated creativity in improving sustainable agriculture, food security, economic growth, and the communication of methods and technologies to communities. Moreover, the work the awardee completes must avoid any harm to the environment.
Amadou’s studies focus on the development of biological controls for the pearl millet head miner. Pearl millet is Niger’s most crucial crop, but the millet head miner threatens to damage nearly 85% of its yields. The loss and degradation of the crop could cause millions to go hungry; further, control of the pest using insecticides is unrealistic for subsistence farmers. The millet head miner has several natural enemies, including parasitoids that Amadou and his fellow researchers will release or are already releasing in Niger’s fields. In relation to Amadou’s work, George Norton, Virginia Tech Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, said that even if only 15% of farmers are affected by beneficial insects, the gains over twenty years would equal several hundreds of millions of dollars. The hope is that the mass-rearing and dissemination of the parasitoids will create a cottage industry that local people, like women’s groups and farmers, will be able to get involved in for additional income.
Amadou recently spent time at Virginia Tech, one of his many collaborators, receiving mentorship and guidance from IPM Innovation Lab Director Muni Muniappan to help him complete his thesis on the biological controls of the pearl millet head miner. Upon completion, he will become Niger’s eighth entomologist, which makes winning the prestigious Award for Scientific Excellence that much more valuable. Amadou accept his award on May 9 in Washington, D.C and he will soon return to Niger to continue his work.
March 28, 2018
In fields and farms of the Bogura District of Bangladesh, entrepreneur Rebeka Sultana is giving an already prolific fungus even more transformative power.
May 10, 2018
In April 2018, IPM IL Director Muni Muniappan’s book Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable Crops was listed as one of the top 50% most downloaded eBooks with several thousand viewers. Download the book here!
April 27, 2018
On April 27, 2017 IPM IL hosted a successful webinar on Tuta absoluta, the tomato leafminer destroying tomato crops across the globe. There were three excellent presenters who each focused on their particular expertise: Nicolas Desneux Researcher, Institut Sophia Agrobiotech Inra, PACA, France presented on Biology and Ecology of Tuta absoluta, Abhijin Adiga, PhD Research Assistant Professor at the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (NDSSL), Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech presented on Modeling the multi-pathway dispersal mechanisms of Tuta absoluta, and Thierry Brévault, PhD Insect Ecologist, CIRAD, France presented on Management of Tuta absoluta. View their presentations and conversations here.
February 28, 2018
IPM IL has hosted a second webinar and it was incredibly well received. Three speakers presented on their specific expertise: Nakkeeran Sevugapperumal, Ph.D., Department of Plant Pathology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, presented on the Popularization of Trichoderma Technology, Rabin Adhikari, Director, Agricare Nepal Pvt. Ltd., presented on the Successful Commercialization of Trichoderma, and Yousuf Mia, Ph.D., Coordinator, IPM Innovation Lab in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), presented on Tricho-compost and plant disease management. See their presentations here.
October 31, 2017
On October 14 2017, an entomology graduate student from Niger with ties to Muniappan and the Innovation Lab won the BIFAD graduate student Award for Scientific Excellence at an event held in conjunction with the World Food Prize ceremonies in Des Moines.
October 16, 2017
Ms. Harriett Muthoni joined the Nthambo farmers group after farming for at least 10 years. In her previous farming experience, she grew a mix of maize and vegetables for market and to feed her family.
After graduation from Jomo Kenyatta University, Eston Mbuba got a job in Kenya’s crowded capital of Nairobi. He soon found his housing, food, transportation, and other living expenses too high, and his income too, with little hope this would change.
August 7, 2017
IPM Innovation Lab graduate student Kaitlyn Spangler talks to her hometown news station about her gender research in Nepal, what she’s learned, and what she hopes to achieve (video).
August 7, 2017
The fall armyworm – devastating to corn in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and elsewhere – is subject of an emergency workshop July 14 through 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to slow the pest’s advance in Africa and prevent its penetration into Southern Europe.
June 9, 2017
The IPM Innovation Lab’s Asia Program Manager, E.A. “Short” Heinrichs, contributed chapters to two books on rice cultivation. The volumes Achieving sustainable cultivation of rice Vols. 1 & 2 draws on an international range of expertise to focus on ways of improving the cultivation of rice at each step in the value chain, from breeding to post-harvest storage.
The volumes, published by Burleigh Dodds are available here.
June 1, 2017
Climate change increases the risk for invasive species as more hospitable weather allows movement into new areas. With no natural enemies to stop it, the tomato leafminer Tuta absoluta can wipe out a country’s tomato harvest.
The pest, if left unchecked in Nepal, could be devastating for farmers and consumers in a country where 70 percent of the population works in agriculture.
To help the country take steps that will help spare vital food crops, the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab outlined strategies during a symposium it organized on the tomato pest at an international climate change conference in Kathmandu.
June 1, 2017
An invader destroying maize in Africa is hitting countries where drought and political instability have already caused hunger. Virginia Tech’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management has mobilized to coordinate an attack on the fall armyworm.
March 15, 2017
On a normal day, Joseph Mbuji’s business is managing the production, harvest, and delivery components of his diversified Bagamoyo vegetable farm. But recently, he found himself delivering a lecture about his farm to an international audience.
March 1, 2017
To work on important issues in the face of climate change, the IPM Innovation Lab’s project on biodiversity and climate change assessment in Nepal organized the three-day International Conference on Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment, and Impacts on Livelihood in Nepal.
February 24, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to read our winter installment of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab newsletter. The last few months have included project planning meetings, invasive pest workshops, and even an international conference on climate change and biodiversity in Nepal.
February 13, 2017
Skeptics of integrated pest management have always existed, especially doubters of its effectiveness in the developing world where food insecurity is a daily struggle. But a new book edited by Virginia Tech entomologist Rangaswamy “Muni” Muniappan shows the vital role of environmentally friendly integrated pest management practices in feeding the world’s growing population.
February 13, 2017
Two major pests attack pearl millet, the most important food crop in Niger in West Africa, and some scientists and policymakers believed that only one of them could be controlled. But Virginia Tech entomologist and IPM Innovation Lab Director Muniappan had a hunch.
November 7, 2016
Welcome to our fall edition of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab newsletter. We’ve been very busy and productive over the last few months and I’m excited to share with you some of what we’ve done
November 7, 2016
Article by one of our project leaders, the International Rice Research Institute, about the work they are doing on our Rice IPM in Cambodia project.
November 2, 2016
Scientists and researchers gathered at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida last month, and the IPM Innovation Lab was there. During the Congress, we led two symposia, including one symposium on the global spread of the South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, resulting in the group recommending a number of measures.
October 10, 2016
Check out the latest issue of the Arab and Near East Plant Protection Newsletter, ANEPPNEL 67, April 2016, published jointly by the Arab Society for Plant Protection and the Near East and North Africa Regional Office of the FAO.
October 7, 2016
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), under the aegis of their Rice IPM project with IPM IL, collaborated with GIZ to conduct a biocontrol forum in Phnom Penh with roughly 140 participants.
October 7, 2016
When Jon Eisenback, professor of plant nematology at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, conducted nematode surveys on vegetables and rice in Cambodia this past August, one of the most surprising things he encountered in the vegetable fields was, in a word, nothing.
September 23, 2016
Parthenium hysterophorus L. is a native plant of tropical and sub-tropical South and North America that adversely affects food security, biodiversity, and the health of both humans and livestock in East Africa.
September 22, 2016
Wondi Mersie, PI for the IPM Innovation Lab’s Biological control of the invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus in East Africa project, was invited by Dr. Shoki Al-Dobai, Crop Protection Officer for FAO to speak about the spread, economic, social and environmental importance and management practices of the Parthenium at the Annual Regional Workshop of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) for the Near East and North Africa region held in Algiers, Algeria from September 5 to 8.
September 23, 2016
The IPM Innovation Lab conducted a three-day workshop on “Diagnosis and Management of Plant Virus Diseases” at the Plant Pathology Division of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from August 10-12, 2016.
September 19, 2016
Our work fighting the spread of Tuta absoluta, the South American tomato leafminer was covered in the daily food and agriculture news publication, Civil Eats.
August 10, 2016
The so-called fighting fungus, Trichoderma, is great at eating “bad” fungi as well as promoting plant growth. For developing countries where crop pests and diseases are a major problem, Trichoderma is a vital tool.
July 5, 2016
There was a Trichoderma workshop in Cambodia from June 13-17, 2016 and the IPM Innovation Lab hosted the workshop “Production and use of bio-control agent Trichoderma and plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria” at the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
June 2, 2016
Muni Muniappan, an entomologist and expert in pest management at Virginia Tech, says the near total destruction of Nigeria’s tomato crop caused by Tuta absoluta, also known as the South American tomato leaf miner, is the latest precursor to the devastating pest’s likely arrival in the United States.
May 4, 2016
From March 28 to April 6, 2016, members from two IPM Innovation Lab teams traveled to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania for the first planning meetings of the “Vegetable IPM for East Africa” and “Grains IPM for East Africa” projects.
April 7, 2016
Check out Virginia Tech’s piece on our Invasive Species Modeling for South American Tomato Leafminer and Groundnut Leafminer project, in conjunction with Virginia Tech’s Biocomplexity Institute.
March 29, 2016
Last week, IPM IL Director Muni Muniappan and Associate Director Amer Fayad, along with IPM project PI Abhijin Adiga, attended the Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security Symposium at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, March 23-24, 2016.
March 23, 2016
The IPM Innovation Lab (IPM IL) conducted a three day “Training on Diagnosis of Plant Virus Diseases in Vegetable Crops” at the Plant Pathology Division of the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in Kathmandu, Nepal March 1-3, 2016.
March 21, 2016
The team went to Ethiopia in December to begin planning on the current phase of the Parthenium project and to lead a workshop, where scientists discussed the advantages and challenges of biocontrol, the importance of gender when it comes to project planning, and the impact of Parthenium in Kenya and Tanzania.
January 18, 2016
On the final day of a weed workshop in Ethiopia in December, 2015, the Innovation Lab’s Parthenium project was awarded 100,000 Birr by Haramaya University.
October 9, 2015
Introducing Nir Krakauer, the new Principal Investigator for a sub award of the Virginia Tech-led Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management.
September 18, 2015
A tiny moth no bigger than an eyelash has become a serious threat to the world’s tomato crop since it left its place of origin – South America – in 2006.
September 11, 2015
At the August meeting of the International Plant Protection Congress in Berlin, IPM IL director Muni Muniappan called for the formation of a working group on the invasive species Tuta absoluta – the South American tomato leafminer.
August 26, 2015
The opening ceremony of the International Plant Protection Congress prompted a proud moment for the Virginia Tech-led Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab.
August 17, 2015
Sulav Paudel, an entomologist with a partner organization based in Kathmandu, presents his ideas on how to encourage young Nepalese to go into agriculture.
August 17, 2015
Halting climate change-induced crop losses could relieve pressure on farmers who are trying to satisfy burgeoning populations, according to IPM Innovation Lab researchers.
August 5, 2015
In July, 2015, the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab held a two-day workshop to help raise awareness of the danger of the invasive pest Tuta absoluta, or tomato leafminer.
June 9, 2015
In Nepal, the Virginia Tech-led IPM Innovation Lab has switched gears from development work to disaster relief after the recent earthquakes.
May 18, 2015
As many of you may have heard, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal last month, killing more than 8,000 people. Not three weeks later, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake again rocked the mountainous country.
April 15, 2015
For the past eight years, scientists have been chasing a tiny invasive moth as it has ravaged its way through many European, North African, and Mediterranean countries. But a Virginia Tech-led program has finally caught up with it.
April 8, 2015
The IPM Innovation Lab (IPM IL) organized a six-day workshop on “Disease Diagnosis and Basic Plant Pathological Techniques for Early Career Scientists” in collaboration with the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and iDE Nepal at the regional NARC station in Khajura, Banke, during April 6-12, 2015.
April 2, 2015
Measuring the economic impacts of IPM. Expanding the international scope of IPM. Identifying the traits of successful IPM programs. These contributions were cited in the awarding of the International IPM Lifetime Achievement Award to Virginia Tech agricultural economist George Norton.
April 1, 2015
Scientists in west central India recently discovered the invasive tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, in tomato fields. The devastating insect, a tiny moth no bigger than an eyelash, is now poised to strike tomato fields across India.
February 6, 2015
When I say Bhutan, what do you think of? Snow leopards? A mountainous country in the eastern Himalayas? The only country with a Gross National Happiness indicator? It may now also become known for its beautiful vegetables.
February 4, 2015
As the IPM Innovation Lab enters its fifth phase, it’s setting its sights on Tuta absoluta, a devastating, invasive tomato leafminer native to South America. Our work with farmers to combat this tiny moth was recently featured in the prestigious Scientific American.
January 13, 2015
Rabin Adhikari has big ideas for Nepal. “I see a Nepal with thriving local businesses that help smallholder farmers produce better crops organically,” he said.
December 23, 2014
Virginia Tech has won a new $18 million grant for a program working to raise the standard of living of people around the world through environmentally sound agricultural practices.
December 11, 2014
The Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (IPM IL) is a global USAID program led by Virginia Tech with a consortium of Universities including Penn State and Ohio State.
October 16, 2014
Rangaswamy “Muni” Muniappan works to save the papaya industry in southern India. He connects researchers in developing countries. He has discovered an invasive species in Senegal and Nepal.
September 12, 2014
IPM Director IPM Innovation Lab has an ever-growing insect collection. He travels all over the world for workshops and conferences, and he takes his net with him everywhere he goes.
September 4, 2014
The potato is often described as a “humble” root — grubby and plebeian. But the potato literally feeds the hungry — it is the fifth most important crop worldwide.
August 12, 2014
Imagine you’re a farmer growing fruit on steep mountainous slopes. It’s hard work; you wake before dawn and spend most of the day on terraces and hillsides, tending to your crop. But things are getting harder.
July 14, 2014
The IPM Innovation Lab team co-hosted a workshop in Ethiopia on the biological control and management of the viciously invasive weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, which has much of Ethiopian farmland in a stranglehold.
July 1, 2014
Scientists, researchers, and agricultural experts from several countries (including India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Honduras) recently gathered in the rural town of Bharatpur, Nepal, to learn more about an inexpensive, environmentally friendly bio-agent called Trichoderma.
June 25, 2014
Parthenium, a flowering weed, is commonplace in the Americas. It appears innocent with simple, white blossoms and lacy foliage. But it has become a serious agricultural and rangeland weed in parts of Australia, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands.
June 3, 2014
On the way out of the office for lunch, my eye was caught by a brownish clump hanging from the front-office window of the Office of International Research and Education and Development.
May 30, 2014
Each year, herbivorous insects are said to be responsible for destroying one fifth of the world’s total crop production (according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
May 6, 2014
A workshop in Senegal in mid-May will gather scientists and extension workers to address the topic of invasive species in the tropics. Virginia Tech’s international agricultural research program is hosting the workshop May 12-15 in the capital city of Dakar.
May 1, 2014
Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab Director Rangaswamy ‘Muni’ Muniappan was profiled in May’s edition of Outbursts, a monthly publication of Outreach and International Affairs.
Februrary 6, 2014
In countries around the world, a tiny insect is wreaking havoc on farms and threatening to push up the price of tomatoes.
January 22, 2014
Virginia Tech researchers who first discovered a devastating pest in India and devised a natural way to combat it have now put an economic value on their counterattack: up to $309 million the first year and more than $1 billion over 5 years.
November 20, 2013
A workshop in Ethiopia later this month will gather scientists and others to fight an invasive pest that threatens tomato crops across the world.
August 5, 2013
A holistic suite of environmentally-friendly agricultural techniques produce higher, healthier yields of onions in India, while still successfully combating pests and diseases, according to new research published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management.
April 5, 2013
Virginia Tech has won a total of $1.59 million for three federal contracts to continue agricultural research in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal. The awards represent a vote of confidence in development work that has been ongoing since 1993.
June 28, 2013
A former IPM IL graduate student, Godfrey Asea, is working to improve Uganda’s maize production systems and earning international recognition in the process.
April 15, 2012
The IPM IL management entity has appointed two new members to its technical committee: S. Mohankumar and Ramasamy Srinivasan. Their terms began this month (May 2012) and will end in September 2014.
October 15, 2011
The West African Regional Program held a workshop in Tuobodom, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana, on gender roles and pesticide use in tomato farming, July 19–22, 2011.
June 4, 2011
Tajikistan’s ambassador to the United States visited the Michigan State University campus as a guest of the Central Asia IPM IL project in late May 2011.
May 15, 2011
A workshop on identification and management of pests and diseases was held on Wednesday April 30, 2011, in the province of San José de Ocoa, Dominican Republic.
January 1, 2010
IAPPS has announced that a new IAPPS Blog has been launched. The blog is designed to provide a service to the global IAPPS Membership.
December 1, 2009
The Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab has won a $2.5 million associate award to manage a program that will promote agriculture-led growth, increase rural incomes and reduce hunger in Mali.