Vegetable crops and mango IPM in Asia

BANGLADESH | CAMBODIA | NEPAL

The Asian vegetable and mango IPM IL program will implement ecologically-based, participatory integrated pest management of insect pests, pathogens, and weeds. The project will focus on tomato, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, cucurbits, onions, and in Bangladesh, mango.

Description

This participatory project develops, adapts, and diffuses IPM technologies through close interaction among international and host country scientists in public and private institutions. IPM IL does this by gathering baseline information on key pests, natural enemies, and existing pest management systems and knowledge, as well as constraints to IPM adoption through surveys, participatory appraisals, and reviews of existing data.

Involving farmers, extension workers, NGOs, IARCs, and national research agencies as well as scientists from U.S. universities, our field research is targeted to activities that directly address farmer needs while providing ancillary benefits to the environment, rural communities, and consumers. In conjunction with the field research, social scientists assess IPM systems in terms of economic impacts and changes in the social dynamics of farm communities, including the role of women in agriculture. Integral to the project are the effects of changing women’s roles as IPM systems are implemented.

In Asia, an estimated 30-40% of crops are lost due to pests. This project will change that through the adoption of IPM components such as biological and environmental monitoring, predictive monitoring, biological control, insect mating disruption, host plant resistance, grafting, bio-rational pesticides, soil amendments, and habitat management.

Building on the work of previous IPM IL projects in Asia, this new IPM program will identify pests of vegetables and mangoes for which IPM practices are needed for each crop and country, transfer them in, test them where possible, and conduct research to design new practices where necessary.

Previous Project Achievements and Highlights

Cambodia

  • After only two years, Trichodermaa beneficial fungus, was introduced, which in repeated trials showed significant improvement in crop production for cabbage, bitter gourd, yardlong beans, tomato, eggplant, Chinese cabbage, and cucumber.
  • Two workshops on plant pest diagnostics were a key part of an effort to build an infrastructure for Cambodian farmers to receive expert assistance with disease and pest problems.

Bangladesh

  • Pod borers and aphids are the major pests of country bean in Bangladesh. But when the crop was treated with a combination of sanitation and biocontrol agents as opposed to traditional pesticides, IPM researchers found the yield of country bean was significantly higher in IPM plots than non-IPM plots. Plus, pest management costs were cut in half.
  • With cuelure, melon-fly pheromone, damage caused by fruit flies went down 70%, and farmers began making a profit. After just a few seasons with the new technique, Bangladeshi cucurbit farmers made three times what they made before.
  • Eggplant grafting helped women earn money that they used to purchase milk to improve their children’s diet, and to buy them clothing and school-related necessities, such as books, notebooks, and pens. In the village of Gaidghat, all the children attend school, and health problems are down.

Nepal

  • By applying an IPM package consisting of mostly compost (farm yard manure), farmers increased the yields of bitter gourd, cucumber, cauliflower, and even coffee.
  • Improvements in irrigation and integrated pest management led to higher vegetable crop yields for a 21-household village.

Current Project Objectives

  • Undertake adaptive research in each of the countries to tailor existing and new vegetable and mango IPM practices and packages to local conditions.
  • Work with public and private sector partners to diffuse IPM practices and packages to farmers.
  • Improve the human and institutional capacity for developing and diffusing horticultural IPM in Nepal, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.
  • Evaluate outcomes and impacts of IPM program.
  • Identify policies and regulations that affect the viability and spread of IPM in target countries and inform officials of policy changes that would be socially, economically, and environmentally beneficial.
  • Train at least three graduate students in their home countries with partial training in the U.S.
  • Minimum of one scientific workshop on the latest IPM workshop in the region each year and one vegetable insect and disease diagnostics workshop in the region each year.

George Norton: Principal Investigator

Professor of Agricultural Economics

Virginia Tech University

Co-Principal Investigators/Collaborators

Megan O’Rourke

Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture

Virginia Tech University

Edwin G. Rajotte

Entomology Professor

Penn State University

Sally Miller

Professor

Ohio State University

Maria Elisa Christie

Director of Women and Gender in International Development

Virginia Tech University

Cristina Rosa

Assistant Professor, Plant Virology

Penn State University

Naidu Rayapati

Associate Professor of Plant Pathology

Washington State University

Yousuf Mian

Coordinator, IPM Innovation Lab

Bangladesh

Mike Roberts

Director, iDE

Cambodia

Luke Colavito

Director, iDE

Nepal

Kim Hian Seng

Project Coordinator, iDE

Cambodia