CABI has held a five-day course on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to train post graduate students and young researchers on a range of pest management techniques including how to keep pests, diseases and weeds below levels that cause economic damage.
The course, which was held at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) in Beijing, China, was delivered by CABI’s IPM expert Dr Stefan Toepfer who is a visiting professor at the Institute of Plant Protection of CAAS. This is also where the Joint Laboratory of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture & CABI is located.
While understanding aspects of IPM, the course also taught the delegation the importance of other factors such as the ecology of crops, pests and their natural enemies, local conditions and practicability, socio-economic influences as well as international and local conditions and compliance standards.
Sixteen students from China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan took part in interactive lectures and practical activities as part of their learning of IPM techniques. The agenda included learning about the diagnosis of plant health problems, prevention of pests, diseases and weeds, monitoring and decision-making, diverse direct control methods and, finally, the design of IPM programmes.
During the course, students developed and presented nine pest management decision guides for IPM (Green and Yellow IPM lists of plant protection measures following standards of the International Organisation for Biological Control as well as Plantwise and agricultural policies). Students were required to take an examination to complete the course and all the students passed, having built their skills by 20 ± 15% on average. This was the fourth time the course was organised and it is likely it will run again in early 2019.