Integrated Crop Management
of appropriate planting material and cultural techniques - such
as sanitation and crop timing - often give the greatest proportional
increase in healthy yield under pressure from insects and diseases
and are straightforward to implement. However, there are reasons,
besides pest control, for such measures - hence the use of the term
Integrated Crop Management or ICM - sometimes further expanded
in scope to Integrated Farm Management. Rational
pesticide use (RPU) is the sub-set of ICM which aims to maximise
efficacy and mitigate the problems associated with agrochemicals
through improving precision in biological activity of control agents,
application and timing.
Pest Management (IPM)
appears to be loosing currency as a concept, having come to mean
different things to different people (and organisations). The original
IPM strategy aimed to optimise all available techniques in order
to maintain pest populations at levels below those causing economic
injury. Although some believe that one of the major objectives of
IPM is the reduction or removal of chemical pesticide use, in practice
many farmers need to prevent devastating losses in certain crops
(especially in hotter climates where pest pressure is often higher).
In addition, the focus of IPM has often been on insect control,
but "pesticides" also include herbicides, fungicides and
other chemical agents. Clearly, arguments that pesticide use should
be abandoned are unrealistic (especially with non-staple crops).
A more rigorous
approach to application techniques can also improve operator safety, resistance
management and, perhaps most interesting to the farmer, reduce pesticide
costs - hence RPU.
concepts are being promoted elsewhere, which all attempt to achieve sustainable
agriculture, with a low environmental impact: through a combination of
appropriate technologies, but not necessarily excluding the use of pesticides.
Initiative for the Sustainable development in Agriculture (EISA) coordinates
a number of National organisations such as the FARRE
association (lutte raisonée or supervised pest control) in
France and LEAF in
the UK. Asian examples include the "green agriculture" initiative promoted
by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (which together with "white
agriculture" - i.e. biotechnology - focuses especially on techniques
such as the use of microbial agents), and "clean production" in Viet Nam
(where crop protection may include limited use of pesticides and is combined
with more careful use of human waste as a fertiliser). Commodity support
organisations such as the World Cocoa Foundation now "… endorses the minimal,
safe use of appropriate agrochemicals … and will support projects that
move the sector towards low-input cocoa production systems
requiring minimal use of approved agrochemicals, and research which makes
these conventional pest and disease control measures more effective."
Working Group on IPM: position on use of synthetic pesticides
paradigm that probably has been accepted most with policy makers
is simply ...