Integrated pest management (IPM)

Food security has been a concern for many years, and one of the principal causes of loss of food has been preharvest destruction by pathogens and pests. Successful control of these has been possible with the use of chemicals; however, it is now recognized that chemical residues left behind on the crop may be harmful to the consumer.

This provided an impetus to search for alternative means of controlling pathogens and pests, especially methods relying on biological agents or their products.

Ecosystems are in a state of dynamic equilibrium, and nature itself offers solutions in the form of a set of organisms devouring or damaging others for their own survival.

The various biological entities that are used either alone or in combination with others, and the processes by which these are done, collectively fall within integrated pest management (IPM).

IPM strategies are now being strongly advocated to combat plant disease and pest attack.

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