Sustainable agriculture, but how to deal with pests?
Increased environmental awareness as well as concerns about safe food, has led to a need for sustainable agricultural production systems. Good agricultural practices and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) have become essential components of sustainable agriculture. The integration of various control measures, with minimal use of pesticides, ensures that pests remain below the economic threshold. The IPM approach limits the negative side effects pesticides can have on the environment as well as on occupational & public health.
The challenge of combining pesticide use and ensuring safe food
In recent decades, consumers have become increasingly concerned about the safety and quality of their food. The public and private sectors in the North have quickly responded with measures resulting in public and private standards to meet requirements for food safety and quality. Applying IPM principles ensures that pesticide residues in food are below the maximum residue limits.
How to make IPM work in practice
While technical solutions towards controlling pests are plentiful in practice, the application of IPM is still a struggle for many farmers. Appropriate implementation of Good Agricultural Practices and IPM for food safety and international market access, requires supportive and enabling policies and institutions. This can be achieved through multi-stakeholder processes with the aim to develop enabling IPM and/or pesticide-related policies and supportive institutional innovations.
Learning through experience
The course will use a mix of lectures, discussions, group work, excursions and field work with the aim to expose you, as far as possible, to all aspects of integrated pest management and pesticide related food safety issues. Meeting course colleagues from other countries but similar interests leads to exchange of experiences and mutual learning.