Global Crop Pest Identification and Information Services in
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on the World Wide Web
|Alfredo Rueda and Anthony M. Shelton
Department of Entomology, Cornell University
NYSAES, 416 Barton Lab, Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: (315) 787-2352, FAX: (315) 787-2326
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Project Justification and Approach
Proper pest identification is the basis for the development of environmentally sound pest control programs. Misidentification can lead to crop failures and increased environmental pollution and poor use of limited resources. There is a large demand in various countries for diagnostic services and information on crop pests. Unfortunately, in the third world, pest diagnostic capabilities are scarce and difficult to access by extensionists and farmers because of the lack of resources and diagnostic centers in these countries. Once extensionists identify the pest they encounter, they often do not have access to information on the biology, ecology and control measures for that pest. Also, if they wish to educate the growers they find they do not have extension materials to distribute to farmers. Farmers, in the absence of public sector diagnostic services, must rely on the services of pesticide salesmen for pest identification and control recommendations. This is problematic since pesticide dealers' recommendations are biased toward recommending pesticides as the only control alternative. Our experiences have also shown that the quality of information is often poor and leads to overuse of pesticides.
Global Crop Pest Identification and Information Services in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on the World Wide Web will provide a user friendly information system for extensionists to help them diagnose major crop pests via a computer with Internet connection. With today's computer technology, the graphical base system format can be interactive and friendly to the user to facilitate the search without the need of previous experience and intensive training. Information for a given pest problem can be found with the help of indexes by crop, pest type, damage characteristics and several cross references. Also, the projected system can down-load information to the extensionists on the biology, ecology and major pest control strategies that they can test and modify with farmers in each region. Finally the program can facilitate the distribution of images and drawings of the pest in question which can be used in extension campaigns. With a seed grant from the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD), we have developed a prototype to demonstrate the information and capabilities of the proposed system. This site is the prototype of the Global Crop Pest Identification and Information Services in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on the World Wide Web.
Using this prototype as a model, we are now interested in working with agriculturalists in third world countries to help modify, if necessary, the format of this WWW site and add approximately 500 additional diagnostic and information 'units' for the major vegetable, fruit and field crops pests in the tropical and subtropical countries. Each of the units can focus on a particular insect, disease or weed pest important to that crop. The project will be developed by scientists at Cornell University, Zamorano (the PanAmerican School of Agriculture in Honduras) and other collaborative institutions from the developing countries.
We have discussed this project with extensionists, farmers and researchers in several developing countries (e.g. Honduras, Zimbabwe and Indonesia). Nearly all central extension offices in these countries presently have access to the WWW and, in fact, often have better access to the WWW than they do to the printed 'fact sheets' which have been the traditional means of conveying information through extension channels. Besides the question of availability of these traditional printed fact sheets, they often do not contain the latest information on registered pesticides, resistant crop varieties, new biological control agents, etc. and therefore only serve a limited time period. In contrast the information on the WWW can be easily updated as necessary. Information on pests and control practices contained in the WWW can be disseminated through training sessions at centralized facilities or the information can be downloaded and printed off and distributed as needed. Information can be customized for each country (e.g. the relevant language) and location within the country (climatic conditions)
The benefits of this project will be the wider availability of relevant information on important pest problems in third world countries, as well as increased linkages between scientists in the United States and agriculturalists in third world counties. This increased information should result in better agricultural practices and the decreased negative impact of agriculture on the environment.
CIIFAD, Cornell University and their employees assume no liability for the effectiveness or results of any IPM practice, nor chemicals for pesticide usage. No endorsement of named or illustrated products is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not mentioned or illustrated.
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