Benefitting people worldwide

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.

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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