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Posted: Jun 09, 2015 6:07 AM CST Updated: Jun 09, 2015 6:11 AM CST

BLACKSBURG (Virginia Tech) – A Virginia Tech-led program working in Nepal has switched gears from development work to disaster relief after the recent earthquakes.The agricultural development program provided seed to farmers for fast-growing vegetable crops and distributed plastic sheeting to meet people’s need for shelter. The sheeting can later be used to set up greenhouses.”With the use of fast-growing vegetables such as dwarf beans, pumpkin, radishes, and mustard greens, farmers can quickly get produce that they can then eat or sell, making them less dependent on handouts,” said Muni Muniappan, director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management program. “The work is being carried out by our partner organization, iDE-Nepal, and builds on work that we started.”

Materials distributed since the April 25 earthquake covered 457 households in the Lalitpur and Kavre districts in Nepal’s central region.

On May 12, a team from the Virginia Tech-led project had just completed distributing seed packets in the area when the second earthquake struck. “We had just distributed seeds and conducted a training that morning,” recounted Sulav Paudel, the local Integrated Pest Management coordinator. “I was traveling in a van, and our driver was having a hard time controlling the vehicle. We saw an old house on the side of the road crumble right in front of us. Fortunately no one from the area was hurt.”

The integrated pest management program, which dates to 1993, has been active in Nepal since 2005, helping farmers grow high-value horticultural crops without using synthetic pesticides. The program introduced such environmentally friendly practices as using drip irrigation, Trichoderma (a beneficial fungus), biofertilizers, biopesticides, staking, mulching, and pheromone and soap-based insect traps.

Nepalese women’s farming groups have also benefited, with members selling their vegetable crops and earning 50 to 250 percent more by using new techniques.

Plans for the coming months include helping nurseries in the area produce seedlings for crops that take more time to reach maturity but will produce for longer, such as tomato, chili peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, and cucumber.

“We hope that our contributions in the realm of agriculture can help the resilient Nepalese people quickly return to some semblance of normalcy,” Muniappan said.

The agricultural development program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and managed by the Office of International Research, Education, and Development.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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This report presents the conclusions and recommendations from the ‘Sensitizing workshop on Tuta absoluta: An impending threat to tomato production”, held in Lalitpur on March 13. Purpose of this workshop was to educate stakeholders regarding the impending threat of Tuta absoluta and the importance of monitoring to prevent its invasion and spread.
Tomato is the most important vegetable crop in Nepal. The tomato leafminer, a native of South America, was accidentally introduced in to Spain in 2006. Since then it has invaded to other European, North African, and Mediterranean countries. Now that it has just been reported in India, there are no natural barriers to its spread into Nepal. It is a devastating pest of tomato, and if no control measures are taken, it will likely cause up to 80-100% yield losses. The exceptional speed and extent to which it has invaded several countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa leads us to believe that it will soon invade Nepal. Tomato is the preferred host even though it can develop on other solanaceous host plants such as eggplant, potato, pepper, tobacco, nightshade, and Jimson weed.
The workshop was hosted by the International Development Enterprises (iDE Nepal) funded through the Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab. The program was chaired by Dr. Min Nath Poudyal, Planning Director, Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC). Forty seven participants attended, including major scientists and experts from different organizations e.g. DoA, NARC, University professors, private companies, USAID representative and other related stakeholders. The list of workshop participants is attached in the Annex. Dr. Muni Muniappan gave a key note speech on Tuta absoluta- its biology, plants affected by it, its geographical distribution, and its economic impact; monitoring and control methods; and the detection, and management of recent outbreaks.

 

Tuta absoluta

Link to the Tuta absoluta workshop flyer: http://www.oired.vt.edu/ipmil/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Report-Tuta-absoluta-Workshop.pdf

Reported by: SULAV PAUDEL | IPM Program Coordinator | iDE Nepal
PO Box: 2674, Kathmandu, Nepal
Office: 00977-01-5520943 (Ext: 207) Cell: 9857011122
spaudel@idenepal.org | sulavpaudel111@gmail.com

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Call for Concept Notes:
Vegetable Crops and Mango IPM in Asia
The USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management at Virginia Tech invites the submission of concept notes from U.S. universities, CGIAR institutions, and host country institutions to compete to lead the Vegetable Crops and Mango IPM in Asia. Concept notes will be reviewed and may lead to an invitation to submit a full proposal.
U.S. universities as defined under Section 296(d) of Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, CGIAR, and host country institutions are eligible to apply as the lead institution for a period of 4.25 years. Total funding (single award) is $2.75 million. Collaboration or partnerships with relevant and appropriate host country organizations, other universities, the CGIAR system, and/or development community partners is required.
Concept notes for Vegetable Crops and Mango IPM in Asia are due May 15, 2015.

For complete information see: http://goo.gl/oJ2kuv

 

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Working with the Private Sector in Nepal to Promote a Friendly Fungus
January 29, 2015
Feed the Future | Newsletter

Nepal trichoderma_0

An Agricare employee (left) aids a farmer (right) in mixing Trichoderma fungus into her soil.

 

Rabin Adhikari has big ideas for Nepal. “I see a Nepal with thriving local businesses that help smallholder farmers produce better crops organically,” he says.

Adhikari is the CEO of Agricare Nepal, a private firm that makes biopesticides and biomedicine products used in agricultural and veterinary practice. When the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, led by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), wanted to promote the use of the beneficial fungus Trichoderma as a biocontrol agent in Nepal, Adhikari jumped at the chance to get involved and offered space at his office in Nepal’s south central town of Bharatpur to host international researchers and practitioners who are collaborating on this topic.

In June 2014, 48 scientists, professors and extension agents from six different countries – Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Honduras and Indonesia – gathered at the Agricare facility to learn about how Trichoderma can be produced and deployed as an important component of integrated pest management.

Dr. Muni Muniappan, who directs the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech, says, “The goal was for participants to gain practical knowledge of the uses of Trichoderma as a biocontrol agent, particularly with regard to sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.”

In developing countries, chemical pesticides are often used indiscriminately, causing environmental damage and creating health concerns. Integrated pest management aims to mitigate this problem through an environmentally sensitive approach to pest control that can help farmers protect crops while limiting the use of synthetic pesticides. A naturally occurring fungus like Trichoderma, which kills off pathogens that attack the roots of plants, can increase agricultural production without jeopardizing the environment or human health.

Private firms like Agricare are essential to getting integrated pest management solutions into the market and making them widely available to smallholder farmers. The Innovation Lab has also worked with Agricare to increase the number and quality of its bioproducts. “We want to help privatize technology so that these beneficial practices will be self-sustaining when we leave,” Muniappan says.

Adhikari concurs. “I have learned so much from the collaboration,” he says. “The chance to network with other professionals in the field from around the world was invaluable. I hope we can continue to work together.”

 

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Virginia Tech has won a new $18 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for a research program that will work to raise the standard of living of people around the world through environmentally sound agricultural practices as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab (formerly Collaborative Research Support Program) for Integrated Pest Management will conduct research and extension activities with farmers, counterpart universities, and host-country government research institutes to implement ecologically sustainable pest and disease control strategies. The predecessor programs to this new award have been led by Virginia Tech University for the past 21 years. USAID recently announced that Virginia Tech would once again lead the program, a move that represents a vote of confidence in the work that has been ongoing since 1993. The new program will have a strong foundation in areas such as sustainable intensification, ecological service provision, ecological research, and empowerment of women farmers.

The new Innovation Lab, managed by Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development, will commit its core resources to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania in Africa and to Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Nepal, and Vietnam in Asia.

The Asian arm of the program will include two main sub-programs: one focused on rice in Burma and Cambodia, and a second on horticultural crops in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Vietnam. The Nepal program will additionally address integrated pest management for grains and climate change impacts.

The projects in eastern Africa will focus on innovative crop protection research for increased production and preservation of high-priority Feed the Future staple crops like maize, wheat, and chickpea in Ethiopia; rice and maize in Tanzania; and high-value vegetables in Kenya and Tanzania. The program will also research and implement new strategies to control existing and emergent pest infestations in countries where farmers with limited resources are predicted to be heavily affected by climate variability.

Muniappan headshotDr. Rangaswamy (Muni) Muniappan is the Principal Investigator of the IPM Innovation Lab. As a world-renowned specialist in tropical economic entomology, biological control of insect pests and weeds, and integrated pest management, Muniappan has devoted his life’s work to improving conditions for farmers in the developing world. In his eight years at the helm of the IPM Innovation Lab, Muniappan has made considerable contributions: he initiated the development of crop-specific “packages”—easy-to-use sets of technical methods for a given crop; he developed partnerships with private sector organizations; he encouraged scaling up through the dissemination of information via a market systems approach as well as through national extension organizations and NGOs; and he actively worked to promote South-South partnerships for capacity building. His work on the papaya mealybug in India alone brought about economic benefits of well over $500 million, saving the livelihood of thousands of farmers. Not only has Muniappan contributed through program management and research, he has also served in management positions for international scientific bodies. As an honorary member of the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC), he was instrumental in establishing the IOBC global working groups on Chromolaena in 1988 and on Parthenium in 2009. As chairman of the global working group on Chromolaena, he conducted international workshops in Africa, Asia and Australia from 1988 to 2006. Muniappan has co-written and edited two textbooks: Biological Control of Tropical Weeds Using Arthropods (2009), published by Cambridge University Press, and Arthropod Pests of Horticultural Crops in Tropical Asia (2012), by CABI . While managing the IPM Innovation Lab, Muniappan has mentored dozens of young scientists in developing countries, and continued his own research—making discoveries about invasive pests and publishing his findings. This research has made him a well-regarded scientist of international stature, called on by governments around the world to consult on invasive pests.Dr. Muniappan is an International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) Governing Board Member and Region XIII Coordinator: North America.

 

Brhane image1Dr. Brhane Gebrekidan is the Africa Program Manager of the IPM Innovation Lab. He is also an IAPPS Governing Board Member and is Region V Coordinator: East Africa. Gebrekidan has over 40 years of Ethiopian, African, and global experience in agricultural research, education, technology transfer, and project management. A plant breeder, Gebrekidan has developed new varieties of sorghum and maize for different ecological zones across Ethiopia. Gebrekidan brings a wealth of experience in research, teaching, and management. He has taught courses in plant breeding, genetics, biometry, and cropping systems at the former Alemaya College of Agriculture at Addis Ababa University (now Haramaya University). He is a founding fellow, vice president, and board member of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences. He has served as the founding editor of the Ethiopian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, as the chairman of the Agriculture Working Group of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and as vice-chair of the Ethiopian Association of Agricultural Professionals. He is also vice-chair of the Professional Advisory Group of Colleges of Agriculture of Ethiopian Public Universities, and serves as an advisor to the Agricultural Transformation Agency of Ethiopia. Gebrekidan was director of the IPM CRSP from 1994 to 2002. He has also served as chief of party and senior research advisor for the USAID-funded Amhara Micro-enterprise development, Agricultural Research, Extension and Watershed Management (AMAREW) project based in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Gebrekidan’s other management experience includes stints as the associate program director of the International Sorghum and Millet CRSP (INTSORMIL), the Ethiopian national team leader and coordinator for sorghum and millet for International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), maize breeder and team leader for Eastern and Southern Africa under the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and Head of the Plant Sciences Department of Alemaya College of Agriculture at Addis Ababa University. As leader of both the Ethiopian and eastern and southern Africa regional sorghum/maize programs, he has worked closely for over two decades with the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research and the other national research institutes in the region. Throughout his career, Gebrekidan has devoted himself to promoting good practices and policies in maize, sorghum, and millet improvement, and agricultural development in general.

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Dr. E. A. “Short” Heinrichs is the Asia Program Manager of the IPM Innovation Lab. Heinrichs is a world-renowned specialist in rice entomology, host plant resistance to insects, and integrated pest management. He has had long experience in agricultural development programs in Asia, South America, and Africa, and has conducted collaborative research with national agricultural research systems in 36 countries. His experience with IPM is both broad and deep. He served as director of the IPM CRSP from 2002-2005, and has held IPM-related management positions with a number of international development organizations, serving as the interim coordinator of the Global IPM Facility of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), heading up the entomology department for a decade at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and serving for six years as entomologist at the Africa Rice Center in Côte d’Ivoire. He also served as the associate director of the USAID-funded Sorghum, Millet and Other Grains Collaborative Research Support Program (the INTSORMIL CRSP) for eight years. He has consulted on IPM with international agencies, including USAID, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank. Heinrichs has published about 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles and authored or co-authored ten books, including Biology and Management of Rice Insects (in Asia), published in 1994 by Wiley, and Rice-Feeding Insects and Selected Natural Enemies in West Africa, published in 2004 by IRRI with the West Africa Rice Development Association. In the teaching and research realm, Heinrichs has taught entomology at four universities in the United States and the Philippines. He developed the IRRI Rice IPM Training Program and has worked with farmer field schools in order to spread new agricultural techniques. Where appropriate materials weren’t available, he created his own, for example, at IRRI, co-authoring IRRI training modules and then working to implement them. Heinrichs is associate director emeritus and research professor in the department of entomology at the University of Nebraska and IAPPS Secretary General, a position he has held for eleven years.

 

 

 

 

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Press Release

Virginia Tech University

Friday, December 19, 2014

Blacksburg, VA, USA

University awarded $18 million to implement integrated pest management program in developing countries
Virginia Tech has won a new $18 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for a research program that will work to raise the standard of living of people around the world through environmentally sound agricultural practices as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab (formerly Collaborative Research Support Program) for Integrated Pest Management will conduct research and extension activities with farmers, counterpart universities, and host-country government research institutes to implement ecologically sustainable pest and disease control strategies. The predecessor programs to this new award have been led by Virginia Tech University for the past 21 years.
USAID recently announced that Virginia Tech would once again lead the program, a move that represents a vote of confidence in the work that has been ongoing since 1993. The new program will have a strong foundation in areas such as sustainable intensification, ecological service provision, ecological research, and empowerment of women farmers.
“We’ve been forming partnerships, conducting research, and getting to know farmers all over the world for the past two decades,” said Rangaswamy “Muni” Muniappan, who has led the Innovation Lab since 2006. “Our work has shown great results, and we look forward to continuing the fight against hunger.”
The competitively-awarded program will address new and emerging pest problems that plague farmers in the developing world, as well as model and manage the spread of invasive species. Program scientists will also be investigating ways to preserve biodiversity and offset the impacts of climate change on agricultural pests and diseases.
The new Innovation Lab, managed by Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development, will commit its core resources to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania in Africa and to Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Nepal, and Vietnam in Asia.
The Asian arm of the program will include two main sub-programs: one focused on rice in Burma and Cambodia, and a second on horticultural crops in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Vietnam. The Nepal program will additionally address integrated pest management for grains and climate change impacts.
The projects in eastern Africa will focus on innovative crop protection research for increased production and preservation of high-priority Feed the Future staple crops like maize, wheat, and chickpea in Ethiopia; rice and maize in Tanzania; and high-value vegetables in Kenya and Tanzania. The program will also research and implement new strategies to control existing and emergent pest infestations in countries where farmers with limited resources are predicted to be heavily affected by climate variability.
“This program has been working on the ground with poor farmers, making a difference in their lives, and contributing to global food security,” said Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to learn from past challenges and build on our successes.”
As in all the previous phases of the program, U.S. researchers will strengthen and forge new partnerships with international colleagues and work directly with farmers. The core tenets will remain unchanged: The program will strive to reduce pesticide use, increase food production, improve health, and make a difference in the lives of poor people in developing countries all over the world.
“A small innovation in a farmer’s life can have a huge impact on their family and on succeeding generations,” said Muniappan.

About Feed the Future
Feed the Future (www.feedthe future.gov) is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.

About USAID
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
About Virginia Tech
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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Trichoderma_fertile

 

08.19.2014:

At a Virginia Tech-led conference in Nepal, agriculture experts learn that employing Trichoderma can save millions of people from disease, save billions of dollars in crop loss, and safeguard the environment by reducing toxic pesticide use.

See video at:

http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2014/08/081914-outreach-nepalworkshop.html

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Annual Report 2013
Posted on May 27, 2014 by Kelly Izlar
The IPM Innovation Labs’s FY 2013 (October 1, 2012–September 30, 2013) annual report is now available. Click below to download the document.

http://www.oired.vt.edu/ipmcrsp/publications/annual-reports/annual-report-2013/

For users with lower bandwidth and/or with interest in only certain specific topic areas, we will split individual chapters and major sections out of the Annual Report for you to view individually. Check back in the coming weeks for a list of individual chapters and sections for download. For more information contact: rmuni@vt.edu

Table of Contents

Management Entity Message
Highlights and Achievements in 2012–2013

Regional Programs
Latin America and the Caribbean
East Africa
West Africa
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Central Asia

Global Programs
Parthenium
International Plant Diagnostic Network (IPDN)
International Plant Virus Disease Network (IPVDN)
Impact Assessment
Gender Equity, Knowledge, and Capacity Building

Associate & Buy-In Awards
Indonesia
Nepal
Bangladesh

Training and Publications
Short- and Long-Term Training
Publications

Appendices: Collaborating Institutions and Acronyms

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