The Integrated Pest Management Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Lab (IPM IL), funded by USAID, promotes pest management methods that reduce damage caused by pests without harming the environment. Through its work, the program raises the standard of living of people in developing countries.
The methods used by the program have proven to be highly effective. In a series of research studies that looked at only a partial number of IPM IL projects, it was shown that the examined projects generated $388 million in benefits. These benefits are represented by increased income due to higher crop yields, not using pesticides (and hence, not having to pay for those inputs), and having best practices spread over a wide area. They are also represented by the 150-plus graduate students who have completed their graduate degrees on the project.
Specific projects studied included IPM practices with tomatoes in Mali, IPM practices with beans and maize in Uganda, using parasitoid wasps to fight the papaya mealybug in India, IPM practices in eggplant and cabbage in Bangladesh, and IPM practices with plantain in Ecuador.
One of these studies found that one IPM intervention alone — the release of a parasite to control the papaya mealybug in India — has resulted in such huge benefits that this single intervention pays for the entire IPM IL over its lifetime.
IPM IL benefits: Examples from around the world
|Country and Authors||Crop||IPM Practice(s)||Net Benefits|
|Albania, Daku 2002||Olives||Cultural||$39–52 million|
|Bangladesh, Debass 2000||Eggplant, cabbage||Cultural practices||$26–29 million|
|Bangladesh, Rakshit et al. 2011||Cucurbits||Pheromone traps||$3–6 million|
|Ecuador, Quishpe 2001||Potatoes||Resistant variety||$50 million|
|Ecuador, Baez 2004||Plantain||Cultural||$59–63 million|
|Honduras, Sparger et al. 2011||Eggplant, onion, tomato, and pepper||Cultural practices||$17 million|
|India, Myrick 2014||Mulberry, papaya, cassava||Parasitoid release for papaya mealybug||$524 million – 1.34 billion|
|Mali, Nouhoheflin et al. 2011||Tomato||Cultural||$21–24 million|
|Uganda, Debass 2000||Beans and maize||Cultural||$36–202 million|
|Uganda, Moyo et al. 2007||Peanuts||Virus-resistant variety||$33–36 million|
|Total||$808 million – 1.82 billion|