The intelligence of human has created wonders, but there is always a positive and negative side to it. Pesticides are synthesized to control the pest incidence and vector diseases, eventually to increase the yield with limited manpower and landmass, contributing to the global food demand. At variance with all the advantages, the over usage of pesticides has an immense impact on Human health, Soil biota, Water, Pest resistance and Environment at large, which has given it an image of black hat in agriculture.
According to FAO’s report, “How to feed the World in 2050“, the world population will be 34% higher by 2050 growing to an approximate number of 9.1 Billion. The food demand would be increased by 70% due to the change in diet. Globally, 35% of the agricultural production is lost to the pre-harvest pest. While some portion of the produce is lost in storage and transportation. Considering these predictions and facts, an imperative concern to the global thinkers is if we would be able to produce enough food without the use of pesticides.
Connecting to the question I raised in my last blog, “Can Biological control act as a perfect substitute for pesticides?” The answer sure is debatable, but to meet the global food demand and maintain the ecology at the same time, Sustainable agricultural practice is the key which involves the usage of both Biological control and Pesticides, sufficed by Integrated Pest Management.
What is Integrated Pest Management?
As the saying goes, “too much is too bad”, The IPM strategy focuses on prevention of pests on a long-term with the balanced combination of existing agricultural practices such as Biological control, use of resistant crop varieties, biopesticides, cultural practices, planned and reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides favoring Sustainable agriculture.
To cater the rising food demand while not compromising on the sustainability, I reckon that Integrated pest management is the solution.