Private partnerships are crucial to the IPM IL work: Transferring a technology to the private sector ensures crop protection for the long term.
The IPM IL works in 16 countries in six regions of the world, helping farmers produce high-value vegetable crops in the tropics. Technologies the program has developed alleviate production constraints during a crop’s entire life cycle, from soil preparation and sowing the seeds to the crop’s harvest and post-harvest storage.
Because the IPM IL seeks to reduce pesticide use, the program often looks to non-chemical insecticide technologies, or biopesticides, to produce healthy crops. These technologies control soilborne diseases, bacterial and Fusarium wilt, and insect pests, all of which cause serious crop losses. Biopesticides can also take the form of environmentally-sound methods of pest control through the use of natural enemies.
In order to increase capacity building in developing countries, the IPM IL engages in private sector development through technology transfer. When the program has successfully developed a method to control a crop pest, the production and marketing of the technology is transferred from national institutions and universities to private enterprises. Technologies developed in Bangladesh, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines have already been passed on to private enterprises that continue to promote healthy crops and improve food security.
What the technologies manage
- Soilborne diseases: Found in every IPM IL program country, these diseases cause seedling and plant mortality. Controlled by the beneficial fungi Trichoderma spp. and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM), and the beneficial bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis.
- Bacterial and Fusarium wilt: Controlled by a technique known as grafting, which joins a rootstock and a scion to create a healthier, wilt-resistant plant.
- Insect pests: Controlled using pheromones.
- Aphids and whiteflies: Controlled using yellow sticky traps.
- Other pests: Controlled by botanical insecticides, the introduction of natural enemies, and sprays containing Nucleopolyhedrosis Virus (NPV), a virus lethal to several pests.
Private partnership initiatives by country
- Small nursery businesses have taken over tomato and eggplant grafting to sell to local farmers.
- Ispahani company produces and markets parasitoids to control caterpillar pests and pheromones for vegetable pests.
- Two NGOs, Mennonite Central Committee and GKSS, produce and market Trichoderma to farmers.
- PILVICSA, a private company, produces and markets grafted seedlings of naranjilla that are resistant to Fusarium wilt.
- After a parasitoid (in this case, a parasitic wasp) was found to control the papaya mealybug, small companies took over its production, benefitting papain and silk producing businesses and saving millions of dollars for the papaya industry.
- Tamil Nadu Agricultural University transferred NPV, a method of controlling tomato and cabbage pests, to BioControl Research Laboratories in Bangalore.
- Several small companies produce and market beneficial fungi and bacteria to control soilborne diseases in vegetables.
- Over 20 different pheromones are locally produced and sold.
- Trichoderma is produced by Pak Ujang, a farmer in West Java, and packaged and marketed by a private company, PT Fumure.
- Lembaga Pertanan Sehat, a small business, produces and markets biopesticides and botanical insecticides to control vegetable pests.
- PT Agrotech Sinarindo, a small business firm, is now producing biopesticides and marketing them to farmers.
- Small nurseries have taken over tomato and eggplant grafting, producing wilt-resistant plants for farmers to purchase.
- VAM mass production has been transferred to farmers and small businesses to control soilborne diseases in vegetables.
- Trichoderma is currently being produced by communities and a private firm.