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SELECTBIO Conferences AgriGenomics India 2017


Integrated Pest Management

Mukesh Sehgal, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NCIPM

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a component of integrated crop management that harnesses the practices of crop production in a holistic manner which is socially and economically viable. At first instance, IPM aims to prevent the buildup of pest population   and crop damage from reaching pest status by utilizing a combination of suitable methods such as the use of resistant varieties, exploitation of natural enemies, augmentation of applied biological control, modification of cultural practices, employing mechanical, physical methods and need-based legislations in an ecologically compatible, economically viable, environmentally sound and pragmatically feasible manner. Secondly, chemical pesticides are used only after monitoring pests following established guidelines as a curative action against the target organism(s) wherein toxicants are chosen judiciously to minimize hazards to crops, human health and the environment. Intensive agriculture practices relying heavily on chemical pesticides are a major cause of widespread ecological imbalances resulting in serious problems of insecticide resistances, pest resurgence, pest replacement and pesticides residues.

IPM is a broad ecological approach for pest management employing all the available skills, techniques and practices. Efforts of cultural, genetic, mechanical and biological methods are vital. Also, the application of chemical pesticides as a last resort in a harmonious and compatible manner can be taken up. However, regular pest surveillance and monitoring play an irreplaceable role in suppressing the pest population below the economic threshold level. It aims at minimizing crop losses with due consideration to human and animal health besides the environment safety. IPM has been enshrined as the prime principle of plant protection in the overall crop protection programme under the National Agriculture Policy of Government of India. We Indian scientists has been validating and refining IPM strategies and practices since its birth in 1988, with the mission
of maximizing crop yields through minimization of yield losses due to pests across major
agricultural and horticultural crops in tune with the emerging problems across geographical
locations of the country. Assimilation of knowledge base on pests, plant protection practices,
products and personnel of the country, linking public (institutes of Indian Council of Agricultural
Research, State Agricultural Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Department of
Agriculture) and private institutions (non-governmental organisations and industries) for an
effective large-scale IPM implementation fortified through trainings-cum-consultancies have
been in vogue for an efficient and improved crop protection across the country. NCIPM
envisages larger role in making IPM more effective through higher levels of integration of
multidisciplinary technologies including information and communication technology (ICT),
and of stakeholders by means of improved research, education, training and extension for
an enhanced crop and ecological health, and sustainable agricultural growth. Achievements
made by the Centre over the past 25 years have been through successive experiences
gained through the farmer participatory implementation of IPM at farm fields. Pre-season
pest management practices, guidance in selection of crops and cultivars suited to soils,
timely planting, continuous monitoring of crop health and pest status, conservation practices
for native natural enemies, use of timely and quality inputs of bio-rationals integrated with
location-specific crop production practices formed the basis of IPM. Real time pest-status
based management advisories including the right selection of synthetic pesticides at accurate&

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