1985-present 1970-1972

1987-present 1987-present

A landmark event in the history of pest management was the publication in 1962 of the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, which was not really important from the point of view of its technical content but rather from its impact on the general public. Silent Spring brought pest management practices into the public domain for the first time and provided the spring board for an increase in the awareness of the general public of the problems associated with chemical insecticide use. This growing environmental concern, combined with the philosophy of integrated control advocated by an increasing vocal band of scientists provided openings for the funding and development of alternative, more environmentally friendly approaches such as insect pheromones, sterile insect techniques, microbial insecticides and host plant resistance. The gypsy moth pheromone was isolated, identified and synthesized in 1962; by 1967 the screw worm Cochlomyia hominivorax was officially declared as eradicated from the US through use of the male sterile technique (Drummond et al., 1988); and in 1972 the first commercial release of a microbial insecticide of Bacillus thuringiensis based on the isolate HD-1 for control of lepidopterous pests occurred (Burgess, 1981). Plant breeding using Mendelian genetics had earlier in the century produced very high yielding dwarf wheat cultivars. The need to improve yield in similar ways with other crops and hence to alleviate 'third world' malnutrition fostered the establishment of the first International Agricultural Research Centre (IARC) sponsored by the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los BaƱos in the Philippines in 1960. This was followed by seven other centres improving crop reproductivity through development of high yielding varieties (HYV). Part of this development included breeding for insect resistance, of which there was some limited success, e.g. cultivar IR36 was resistant to brown plant hopper (Nilaparvata lugens), the green leaf hopper (Nephotettix virescens), the yellow stem borer (Scirpophaga incertulas) and the gall midge (Orseolia oryzae) (Panda and Khush, 1995). This period became known as the 'Green Revolution' alluding to the 'greening' of developing countries with high yielding cultivars, particularly of rice (Panda and Khush, 1995). Generally however, the resistance was based on a form of resistance that could be overcome by the insects and particularly in rice, farmers were advised to spray their high yielding crops with chemical insecticides to protect them. Such measures were still necessary until the 1980s when IPM methods were introduced into rice systems for the first time.

The concept of IPM in the 1960s and 1970s was based on restricting pesticide use through use of economic thresholds and utilization of alternative control options such as biological products or methods, biopesticides, host plant resistance and cultural methods (Thomas and Waage, 1996). IPM was launched in the US and ultimately around the world with a large and influential research project known as the Huffaker Project (1972-1979; which was continued in the 1980s as the Atkinson project) focusing primarily on insect pest management in six crops: cotton, soybean, alfalfa, citrus fruits, pome fruits (apples and pears) and some stone fruits (peaches and plums; Morse and Buhler, 1997). Involving scientists from universities, USDA and private industry the project sought to organize research to transcend the disciplinary, organizational, political, geographical and crop specialism barriers that have usually inhibited collaborative efforts between scientific disciplines. In this effort, however, and others that have succeeded it, IPM was designed to the specification of capital intensive, technologically sophisticated farmers. Ironically this was the same design for which the high tech chemical pest control tradition had been based, something that IPM endeavoured to replace (Perkins, 1982; Thomas and Waage, 1996). A different model for the development of IPM came, not from the intensive, high tech world of agriculture of the west but from the Philippines and South-East Asia. Here the emphasis was on IPM training among farmers (Table 1.2), creating sufficient understanding of the interaction between natural enemies and their pest prey/hosts so that economic thresholds are based on observation of the balance between pest and natural enemy numbers in the rice paddy

(Matteson et al., 1994). In Indonesia, after one season's training, farmers' spraying practices have changed from an average of 2.8 sprays per farmer to less than one per season, with the majority of farmers not spraying at all. There was no difference in yields using IPM methods versus those harvested with nationally recommended technical packages (Matteson et al., 1994). The concept of IPM was officially adopted in Indonesia in 1979, but its implementation was negligible because of massive pesticide subsidies, the limited experience and knowledge of extension personnel and massive promotional campaigns by the pesticide companies (APO, 1993; Morse and Buhler, 1997). IPM adoption escalated however, with the Presidential Decree No. 3, instituted in 1986, which banned 57 broad spectrum insecticides used on rice and endorsed IPM as the official strategy for rice production.

At this time other governments around the world were waking up to the need for endorsing IPM. In 1985 India and Malaysia declared IPM Official Ministerial Policy, as did Germany in 1986. IPM was also implicit in the Presidential Declaration in the Philippines in 1986 and Parliamentary decisions in Denmark and Sweden in 1987. In 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, Rio de Janeiro, the World's Heads of State endorsed IPM as a sustainable approach to pest management.

Table 1.2. Evolution of rice IPM farmer training in Asia 1979 to present (from Matteson et al., 1994).


Training approach

0 0

Post a comment