Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’


Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Invasive species, alien species, exotic pests, or invasive alien species, are common names that categorize non-native animals, insects, microbes, diseases, or plants that are pests. These pests are not native in areas in which they cause problems and they are considered “invasive” because they invade and establish populations in new areas and the resulting uncontrolled population growth and spread causes economic or environmental problems. South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick, 1917) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) also known as the tomato leaf miner is one of the destructive invasive pest observed for the first time infesting tomato crop in Maharashtra, India. This pest has been classified as the most serious threat for tomato production worldwide. The pest has spread from South America to several parts of Europe, entire Africa and has now spread to India. Plants are damaged by direct feeding on leaves, stems, buds, calyces, young fruit, or ripe fruit and by the invasion of secondary pathogens which enter through the wounds made by the pest. It can cause up to 90% loss of yield and fruit quality under greenhouses and field conditions.

The pest was initially observed in Pune on tomato plants grown in polyhouse and fields during October 2014. The specimens were collected, identified and deposited at National Pusa Collection (NPC), Division of Entomology, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi by P.R. Shashank and K. Chandrashekar, ICAR-IARI scientists. Subsequently the pest was observed in the farmer’s fields in major tomato growing districts of Maharashtra viz., Pune, Ahmadnagar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik, and Satara. Severe infestation (>50% plants affected) was observed in several tomato fields.

Following the reports of Maharashtra, recent surveys conducted by researchers of Network Project on Insect Biosystematics (NPIB), University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru and ICAR-NBAIR, Bengaluru in January, 2015 observed the presence of this pest in Kolar and Bengaluru districts of Karnataka. The current report of T. absoluta from India is alarming because this pest is oligophagous and can attack several suitable solanaceous host plants. Present information is useful for adaptation of rapid response strategies against its invasion by educating farmers, extension entomologists and other stakeholders.


Read Full Post »


May 05 2014

By Khetam Malkawi

AMMAN — Farmers’ education and empowerment should be a sustainable process in Jordan, especially since agriculture is one of the sectors in the Kingdom that employs guest workers, officials said on Monday.
In a country with a growing population that has almost reached 10 million, there has to be continuous education for agricultural workers, Agriculture Ministry Secretary General Radi Tarawneh said at a workshop organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Tarawneh added that the sector is very important to the country’s economy, but there are several challenges that should be overcome.

These challenges, he noted, include contradictory pieces of legislation and urban encroachment on agricultural land.
However, local crops and agricultural products are tested and free of pesticides, the official stressed.

“There were news reports claiming the opposite, while others claimed that wastewater treated at the Khirbet Al Samra plant is used to irrigate crops for human consumption… this is false news,” Tarawneh said.
During the workshop, the FAO announced the conclusion of its 10-year Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project, which was launched in 2004 and also implemented in Jordan.

Andrea Berloffa, emergency coordinator and liaison officer at FAO Jordan, said the project was aimed at improving the food and nutrition security of rural populations through development and implementation of sustainable agriculture practices in six countries, including Jordan, and was expanded in 2010 to include another four countries in the region.

According to Berloffa, education and empowerment of farmers was a “key activity of the IPM programme” that is based on the utilisation of farmer field schools (FFS).

He cited figures indicating that the project established more than 150 FFS in Jordan and over 2,500 farmers — 20 per cent of whom were women — benefited from these schools.

Berloffa explained that the FFS gives farmers the opportunity to learn how to deal with problems they face on their farms, exchange experience and learn how to improve the quality of their crops.

One achievement of the projects, according to the FAO official, is the institutionalising of the FFS approach by the National Centre for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE).

“Since 2008, the FFS approach has been incorporated and budgeted into the annual plans of the NCARE… initiating for the first time the participatory extension unit.”

Due to its impact on the country’s agricultural sector, the project received the International IPM Award of Recognition in 2012 from the US, according to National IPM and FFS Project Coordinator Ashraf Hawamdeh.

Hawamdeh noted that the project also had a direct impact on farmers’ livelihoods and some of the FFS beneficiaries succeeded in exporting more than 800 tonnes of tomatoes and 200 tonnes of cucumbers in 2009.

© Jordan Times 2014

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.


Read Full Post »



Kathmandu Post



Integrated Pest Management has been adopted by a growing number of organic farms in all districts of Nepal

Arjun Neupane, a farmer in Dhaibung, Rasuwa, owns a farm that’s all organic. His prize produce is tomatoes, and they grow in a plastic-roofed shed that’s surrounded on all sides by marigold plants. The rest of his farmland, used for growing cauliflower and spinach, is spotted with plastic drums that house a slurry of buffalo dung and urine mixed with titepati, neem and sisnu leaves. It’s the employing of slurries of this kind that’s at the heart of a farming method called Integrated Pest Management (IPM)—a method that’s been adopted by a growing number of organic farms in all districts of Nepal.

The IPM philosophy is a simple one: It’s a way of using, as much as possible, plants (mostly those that grow in the wild) and animal waste to keep pest numbers down and fertilise the soil at the same time. The buffalo urine in the slurry, which Neupane ferries by the bucketloads to his vegetable beds, acts as a fertiliser—by adding nutrients such as ammonia in its natural form to the soil—and the plants used in the slurry kill germs and keep away animals such as rodents, with their bitterness. Live plants, too–such as the marigold plants around Neupane’s greenhouse—can be marshalled as a defensive front: in Neupane’s case, they keep at bay the nematodes, a kind of worm, which would otherwise prey on his tomatoes.

IPM took off in the late 90s in Nepal, with the government’s encouraging farmers to make use of the method as an alternative to depending on chemical fertlisers, which are harsher on the soil and whose use over time can lead to the land’s turning effete. The government knew that it had to wean the farmers off chemical fertilisers if they wanted to preserve the farmlands’ soil. The advent of globalisation had by then seen a marked increase in Nepali farmers’ switching to various types of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which had become readily available in all markets across the country. And the farming sector had transformed from one which primarily used organic fertilisers and biological agents to one that relied increasingly on fertilisers that degraded the soil quality of the farms and which furthermore had untold adverse effects on the environment and in turn on public health.

Most farmers who use only chemical fertilisers are locked in a vicious cycle. The chemical fertilisers produce better yields, and as most other farmers now opt for using chemicals (even as they further degrade their land), they have to keep up if they want to compete in the marketplace. Furthermore, many of them have also taken to using industrial-strength pesticides to keep away pests—such as insects, disease-bearing pathogens, weeds, rodents, and mites—which are the major constraints to increasing agricultural production and which can cause productivity losses of up to 40 percent. This increase in the use of chemical pesticides ends up not only upsetting the natural balance of chemicals of the soils in the fields, but also leads to an increase in the populations of secondary pests.

It was to help those farmers who wanted to get back to using biopesticides that the concept of the IPM approach was pushed by the government. The first phase of IPM farming in Nepal was launched just before the turn of the century by the Department of Plant Resources, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The government was aided in its venture by various developmental partners and together they helped set up the practice for farmers in various districts, including Jhapa, Morang, Bara, Chitwan, Kapilvastu, Bardiya, Banke, Kailali, Ilam, Kavre, Syangja, Surkhet, Dadeldhura, Tanahu, Dhading, Mustang and Manang.

Ironically, the government had to sell the idea as a ‘modern’ method of farming, even though local versions of IPM were what the farmers used to work with before the farmers switched wholesale to chemical fertilisers. Wood ash, for example, has been widely used for pest control in west Nepal for generations. Today, the national IPM Programme seeks to teach the farmers how to find their way back, says Yubak Dhoj GC, a government official and former coordinator at the Plant Protection Directorate. To help farmers make the switch, the government and various non-governmental agencies have set up IPM farmer schools all across Nepal, in which farmers such as Neupane learn the science of using botanical pesticides, which can be made from more than 50 plant species readily available in Nepal: plants such as neem, marigold, titepati, sisnu, garlic and timur are used in IMP to ward off pests such as the cabbage butterfly larvae, hairy caterpillars, cutworms, red ants, termites and aphids.

Today, it is estimated that around 11,000 farmers in 17 districts have completely adopted IPM techniques and that the number is increasing at the rate of more than 10 percent each year. Thus there are quite a few farmers who are getting sold on the idea, but there still remains the challenge of helping the IPM farmers compete with those who still haven’t given up the use of chemical fertilisers. The IPM model requires more man-hours in the field; furthermore, as Neupane, says, it’s difficult for IPM farmers like him to compete with farmers who use chemical fertilisers, andwhose tomatoes look larger, redder and juicier than his.

According to GC, the IPM programme is at a crossroads now. He says the government has to play a larger role in helping farmers such as Neupane. At present, the agricultural produce grown using chemical fertilisers and the IPM methods are competing in the same markets. The government doesn’t have the mechanism in place to certify certain products as being organic. If that were to happen, Neupane thinks that he could sell his tomatoes to hotels in Dhunche, where the tourists who prefer organic produce could seek vegetables like the ones he grows.

In cities like Kathmandu, there are already many farmers who are able to sell their products in the niche markets that the organic farmers, who employ IPM, have carved for themselves. For the farmers outside the Valley, the main draw of IPM farming is that the soil will remain fertile in the long run. These farmer can only compete with those who use chemical fertilisers, says GC, if the government were to provide subsidies and help improve market access for them. “We have been successful in involving the farmers in the IPM approach but have failed to improve the accessibility to the market for their products. Thus it’s still difficult for most of them to benefit from the agriculture practice they are adopting,” says GC.

Posted on : 2014-05-03 08:15

Read Full Post »


28 March 2014
by Jean-François Haït

Integrated pest management gains momentum due to European regulations on pesticides reduction. But the challenges are to integrate all alternative methods and to get farmers involved.

Read more: http://www.youris.com/Bioeconomy/Agriculture/A-Pest-Management-Toolbox-To-Reduce-Pesticide-Use.kl#ixzz2xbCVlyvg

Reducing the level of pesticide use in agriculture is a priority in Europe. A 2009 EU Directive states that the use of pesticide must be compatible with sustainable development. In particular, it encourages so-called integrated pest management (IPM) initiatives. IPM consists in combining available biological, genetic and agricultural methods to fight pests—such as weeds, bacteria, viruses, insects and fungi – rather than using extensive pesticide spraying.

Now the EU-funded PURE research project, due to be completed in 2015, aims at providing practical IPM solutions to reduce dependence on pesticides in selected major farming systems in Europe. “Our final objective is to provide farmers a toolbox for implementing IPM,” says Françoise Lescourret, director of research at the plants and cropping systems in horticulture laboratory at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), in Avignon, France. She is also the project coordinator.

The research focuses specifically on six cropping systems: wheat and maize as field vegetables, as well as pomefruits and grapevine as perennial crops, and tomato as greenhouse crop. Field tests are carried out in ten European countries. Project scientists are testing several solutions including, for example, the phasing of sowing in response to pest emergence, the use of plant species resistant or tolerant to biological aggressors, and the release of predator insect species in greenhouses.

Alongside these existing methods, the project team also evaluates innovative technological solutions, such as air samplers that can warn the arrival of airborne inoculum of pathogens, or mating disruption for insects involving the release of pheromones.

Then, IPM models taking into account experimental results are designed in the lab, and tested back in the field, in a virtuous circle. “Combining IPM solutions is challenging as all problems do not arise at the same time in farms,” Lescourret tells youris.com.

Assessing the cost of these solutions before and after implementation is also a key point of the project. “A good [integrated pest management] solution results in a positive environmental impact, a good cost-versus-benefit ratio, and preserves the social well-being of agriculture professionals,” she tells youris.com.

Economic aspects are indeed crucial. “In order to execute IPM, many more economic thresholds for pest, disease, and weed infestation are needed. Economic thresholds are the levels of the pest that will cause economic loss if the pest is not controlled. Controlling the pest below this level is wasteful, costly and a totally unjustified use of pesticides. In order to assess if a pest is above this threshold, farmers needs more sampling methods to measure the pest level. PURE can add to their toolbox” says Richard Meadow, research scientist at Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, in Ås, Norway.

However, a toolbox is not enough, for Hans Muilerman, pesticides & alternatives officer with PAN Europe, the European subsidiary of pesticide action network federating environmental NGOs. “The main thing farmers need is good examples. If the ‘hero’ of the region adopts IPM, many will follow. Governments should start ‘IPM-hero’ programs and stimulate it. A toolbox is only needed when farmers feel like changing and this is the big hurdle for now,” he tells youris.com.

By the time the project reaches completion, however, the European network ENDURE for the promotion of sustainable agriculture will take over and spread the results among agricultural advisers to maximise the chance that project findings will be implemented.



Read more: http://www.youris.com/Bioeconomy/Agriculture/A-Pest-Management-Toolbox-To-Reduce-Pesticide-Use.kl#ixzz2xbCEsEgw

Read Full Post »