The world is talking about a geometric rise in the population. And why wouldn’t they? Economists, activists and even our farmers are concerned about feeding 9 billion people by 2050. The growing population has a direct impact on food- the more the people, the more mouths to feed.
However, the farmers are most pressurized. To produce more food, our farmers have to increase their yields on the existing land. They also have to make sure that biodiversity and environment is well-protected while procuring more food. A mammoth task like this can only be met with the innovative ways to increasing yield and saving it from pests. Here comes the role of a very important and beneficial crop protection system- Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
IPM is a holistic approach to prevent pests from damaging crops using chemical, biological, cultural, measures that are cost efficient, environmentally safe and widely accepted by the society. The greatest benefit of IPM is that it offers the farmers, steps and strategies to maximize sustainable production of crops by minimizing the damage incurred to the crops due to insects, weeds and diseases. It also allows the farmers to become responsible decision-makers in implementing IPM strategies.
There are primarily three components of using IPM- Prevent, Monitor and Intervene.
IPM not only removes crop-damaging pests, but also prevents pest build-up, which is very important. IPM also monitors crops for both pests and plant diseases and distinguishes between crop-damaging and beneficial insects. Thirdly, it determines the most appropriate intervention to control pests which is both affordable and environment-friendly.
A matter of great concern lies in the fact that over time, pests grow the ability to develop resistance to certain pest-control measures. The plant science industry is however, doing rigorous research to increase IPM’s capacity which will provide greater protection to the crops.
So let us continue to innovate and bring sustainable solutions to Indian agriculture and benefit farmers.
By Shridhar Dhanagare, Marketing, Mahyco