The past decade has seen a movement of people from rural to urban environments in Asia and, indeed, in most developing countries. The migration is fuelled by the increased economic opportunities offered by an urban lifestyle. Improvements in the economic status of urban populations have resulted in an increased demand for a wider diversity of foodstuffs and in particular high quality vegetables. To meet this demand smallholder, peri-urban, vegetable production has expanded rapidly. This production provides nutrition, income and employment and in some cases generates foreign exchange through exports to other countries. Currently such vegetable farmers rely mainly on pesticides to control a wide range of devastating pests and diseases - a strategy which, unless they are used wisely, threatens the health of smallholders and the peri-urban ecosystems on which they depend.
Pesticides can be valuable tools in crop production, but unfortunately they are often used irresponsibly, causing hazards to producers, consumers and the environment. In addition, they can exacerbate pest and disease problems by inducing resistance and suppressing the natural enemies which exert natural biological control.
This course aims to promote an integration of appropriate chemical, cultural, genetic and biological technologies into an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy for vegetable crop protection. Adoption of this approach will empower farmers with effective pest and disease management methods and reduce reliance on synthetic pesticides, resulting in more sustainable vegetable production with higher yields of safer produce.
The Vegetable IPM course is designed to improve participants' knowledge and skills related to vegetable IPM. It builds on the course entitled Introduction to IPM and uses an approach based on case studies to investigate the specifics of IPM in vegetables.
With the knowledge of vegetable IPM gained in this course, agricultural professionals will develop a better understanding of:
The course can be used as either a reference tool or as part of a structured learning exercise. It is a resource which contains information and links to other sources of information on vegetable IPM.
There are five modules in the Vegetable IPM course:
There are also a number of resources available for download: