IPM is an important step to take in agriculture extension work. It does not necessarily (in my view) mean eliminating all use of chemical pesticides and fertilizing products, but it certainly encourages reduced and pragmatic use of such products. For example, preventative maintenance of land and strict control of when and how much pesticides to apply (perhaps ensuring that a pest is indeed present before application). IPM should also promote the use of bio-control or natural products such as fungi and certain insects/parasites that control harmful pests. This is not a new topic, it is discussed in the well known food security book FOOD FIRST, and it is key to achieving sustainable agriculture (agriculture that is cost effective and not destructive to the environment).
Today I was given an article that comes from USAID and Fintrac, both of which aim to create sustainable agricultural progress in the developing world. This brief article speaks of using salicylic acid to boost plant resistance to disease. Essentially I understand it as promoting a healthy immune system in a plant just like consumers looking for antioxidant rich foods are trying to do in their body.
Neat concept, ¿no?
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