Integrated Pest Management

Excessive use of pesticides in some of the crops, viz., cotton has made pest management increasingly difficult because of new problems such as pest resurgence and pesticide resistance. Pollution of environment and pesticide residues at toxic levels in the food chain are other problems associated with the indiscriminate use of pesticides. It is increasingly evident that chemical pesticides alone can not provide the desired level of protection against some of the key pests. For instance, management of Heliothis, a polyphagous pest having a wide host range, has become a challenge, as it resists to different degrees many known chemical pesticides. In such cases, integrated pest management involving all available control techniques, namely host plant resistance, pest-specific biocontrol agents, botanical pesticides and cultural practices has been found not only to be an effective remedy to the pest problem but also highly cost effective and environment friendly . A wide choice of resistant varieties now available against many of the pests in different crop plants, and introduction of innovative approaches, are good signs for the reduced use of toxic pesticides.

Integrated pest management(IPM) utilizing the best combination of available control techniques has been found to be an effective remedy to the pest problems of major crops like cotton, rice, sugar cane, tobacco and a wide range of pulse and vegetable crops. While giving due emphasis to IPM approach as environment friendly and cost effective, it is worth mentioning that India is not among the countries that use very high levels of pesticides. Moreover, the pest is a serious constraint on tropical crops and, also, biodegradation of the pesticides is fast under tropical conditions.

Integration of components of pest control and management require far greater capitalization on complementarities and synergies of crops, varieties, cropping pattern, agronomic management, chemical use, biological balance etc. This would require effective, adaptable and viable capsules, their promotion and use.

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