Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is still strongly associated with pests and is defined as a knowledge-intensive process of decision making that combines various strategies (biological, cultural, physical and chemical) to sustainably manage pests. For the FAO Regional Vegetable Programme, IPM is much more than just pest control. IPM is an ecological approach to managing pests. Low levels of populations of some pests are needed to keep natural enemies in the field and the aim of IPM is to reduce pest populations to avoid damage levels that cause yield loss. The entry point of an IPM programme may often be focused on reduction of pesticide use. However, the basis of good crop management decisions is a better understanding of the crop ecosystem and farmers understanding what it takes to grow a healthy crop. Regular field monitoring of the crop is the first step towards understanding ecosystems.

IPM strategies are different for each crop, for a country, for a region, even for one location, depending on local varieties used, local agronomic practices and various crop protection options available. IPM can never be delivered in a “package”; it needs to be developed, adapted and tailor-made to fit local requirements. Designing and practicing effective IPM systems is about learning and continuously finding solutions to changing field situations and problems.

More detailed information about IPM is available on:

Integrated Pest Management in Greenhouse Crops