IPM packages for vegetable crops in India
Sunday, November 11, 2012: 3:30 PM
301 D, Floor Three (Knoxville Convention Center)
In the Indian sub-continent, vegetable crop productivity is limited due to damage caused by many insect pests and diseases besides nematodes. Excessive use of synthetic, organic pesticides in the vegetable ecosystem has resulted in the development of resistant insects, adverse effects on human health, and the degradation of the environment. The changing pest complex in the spatial and temporal scale and different methods of cultivation led to the development of IPM packages suited for local needs. Sustained efforts were taken to integrate locally-adapted, farmer friendly, conventional and biorational methods of pest management through the USAID-funded IPM CRSP project in Tamil Nadu, India. A major aim of this project is to increase vegetable production with the development of IPM strategies as a package to replace pesticide-reliant tactics and to increase awareness and adoption of these strategies. IPM packages were developed in onion, eggplant, okra, and tomato and validated through a participatory approach with farmers. IPM package development in hot pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, and gourds is in progress. In vegetable crops, an IPM package using different components was found to yield significant reduction in pest problems and increased income to the farmers. This package incorporated seed treatment; nursery application and soil application in main field with Trichoderma viride and/or Pseudomonas fluorescens; application of neem cake; selection of good and virus disease-free seedlings for planting; roguing out of virus infected plants; growing marigold as a border crop; growing trap/barrier crops; setting up Helicoverpa/Earias/ Spodoptera/Leucinodes pheromone traps; release of Trichogramma chilonis; installation of yellow sticky traps; spraying neem formulations/neem seed kernel extract; and need based application of safer pesticides. The reduction in pest damage in IPM plots varied from 20.39% to 75.00% depending on the season, pest incidence, and crop. The BC ratio varied from 1.86:1 to 5.46:1 in different vegetable crops. The validated IPM packages have been popularized among the growers through field days and seminars. Depending on the farm situation, different components are blended and adopted by vegetable growers. The major challenge is the management of virus diseases and their vectors. The wide variation in adoption and realizing the benefits of IPM among different vegetable growers was attributed to a few factors, including the fluctuation of price of produce in the market.