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Integrated pest management tips

This week, our Farmer story from Malawi describes a difficult choice faced by farmers in Dowa district: pay for expensive pesticides or stop tomato farming. Pesticides are costly, and can be dangerous to humans if not used properly. Integrated pest management can reduce pest populations and keep crop damage to a minimum by modifying the cropping environment so that pests cannot thrive.

Several research groups, including the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du BĂ©nin, produced a guide on integrated pest management in vegetable production. The guide was produced for extension workers in West Africa, but contains useful information in non-technical language about various pests (p. 41) and practices to prevent pest damage (p. 77). To read the guide, go to: http://www.iita.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=106ae17a-43c0-437b-93d9-d3f3de7eb5b7&groupId=25357 [1]

Access Agriculture also produces resources about several pests and methods of pest control. These include videos produced in a variety of languages, which can be viewed or downloaded. You can also download the audio file, transcript, or related factsheet.

Managing vegetable nematodes (video available in English, French, and 10 other languages)

This video shares information about nematodes, microscopic worms that live in the soil and in the roots of many crops and weeds. Nematodes are easier to prevent than to control. Farmers should grow healthy seedlings and rotate with crops that are resistant to nematodes. This video from Benin shows how farmers are controlling nematodes in vegetable crops. To see the video or download the related resources, go to: http://www.accessagriculture.org/managing-vegetable-nematodes [2]

Managing mealybugs in cassava (video available in English and French)

This video shares practical tips to reduce the chance of mealybugs arriving in your cassava field. While the video shares tips from farmers in Thailand, mealybugs affect cassava fields across Africa as well. Techniques explained in the video include: using healthy planting materials, disinfecting cassava stakes, protecting beneficial insects, and regularly observing the crop. To see the video or to download related resources, go to: http://www.accessagriculture.org/managing-mealybugs-cassava [3]

Composting to beat striga (video available in English, French, and 23 other languages)

The micro-organisms in compost help farmers fight against striga by attacking striga seeds in the soil. Compost also decreases the amount of striga that will sprout, reducing its effect on cereal crops. This video shows how farmers in northeast Mali make compost as one of the strategies in integrated striga and soil fertility management. To see the video or to download related resources, go to: http://www.accessagriculture.org/composting-beat-striga [4]