Towards the rational management of the insect pests of tropical legume crops in Asia: review and remedy uri icon

abstract

  • The productivity of legume crops, especially the pulses, has not increased markedly in 30 years. This is a serious matter in this time of exponential human population growth because legume crops provide essential diet components that are not present in cereals at a price that is affordable to the majority. The preferential allocation of research resources to cereal crops is one reason for this stagnation. I suggest that an international effort should be mounted to redress this situation. Most Asian legumes have in common a cadre of insect pests that are reducing yields to levels at which harvesting is not economic. The position is worsening because insecticide resistance in key production areas has rendered many species uncontrollable. The short-term remedy is to persuade farmers to reduce their dependence on insecticides. Long-term solutions should be aimed at a common policy centred on the principal components of integrated pest management (IPM) schemes, Governments should be supplied with information that will permit them to set priorities according to absolute crop loss indicators. These will in turn provide a rational basis for the subsequent development of regional strategies. The establishment of an IPM centre in Asia would support the facilitation of this ideal. Such an organization would become the focal point for collecting, developing and disseminating the information and technology needed to make a quantum leap in legume production

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993