Latin American countries present diverse agricultural systems, ranging from the subsistence agriculture in common property lands to large highly mechanized estates that produce crops for export. Despite this diversity, the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) is commonly based on reducing the negative effect of pesticides on consumer health and on the environment. In most of Latin American countries, the agricultural sector is characterized by poor infrastructure in research and extension systems, a public sector with limited human resources that limits the dissemination of information and provides inappropriate credit and subsidy schemes, all of these have influenced negatively on the possibility of the success of IPM programs. Thus, some innovative alternatives have emerged from concerning public and private initiatives. In this regard, the Plantwise approach, as a framework for action, is to strengthen the capacity of agricultural institutions and organizations to establish more effective and sustainable national plant health systems. Plantwise is an innovative global program led by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), which aims to contribute to increased food security, alleviated poverty, and improved livelihoods by enabling male and female farmers around the world to lose less, produce more, and improve the quality of their crops. Strengthening plant health systems removes barriers to make accessible to farmers sustainable approaches for pest control. In this chapter, we include some historical review of IPM concepts, strategies, and some experiences in application of IPM in Latin America. Also we discuss the potential and challenges for implementation and adoption of IPM practices and the ways how Plantwise has engaged with the key partners in the different countries where the program is being implemented, promoting the implementation of IPM approaches in order to improve agriculture systems, mainly those from subsistence agriculture, in Latin America.
Part of the book: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Invasive species represent one of the most relevant threats for biodiversity in many ecosystems, mainly in those so-called agroecosystems due to which they exhibit reduced biodiversity and simplified trophic interactions. These two factors make many niches unoccupied, thus increasing the risk that invasive species especially arthropod pests occupy these niches or compete with native species. In spite of potential impact of invasive species, our understanding of their ecological consequences is developing slowly. In the last years, more attention is being paid on phytophagous mites because several noneconomic species have become severe pests on many crops as a consequence of irrational use of agrochemicals. Also, due to the small size of the mites, they can be transported throughout the world and established in new areas where favorable conditions and the absence of efficient natural enemies favor their development. Thus, phytophagous mites are feasible to become invasive species since they are able to provoke severe damage to plants. Since 2004, Steneotarsonemus spinki, Schizotetranychus hindustanicus, and Raoiella indica have been introduced in the Neotropical region. Information about pest status, seasonal trends, and natural enemies in invaded areas is provided for these species.
Part of the book: Pests Control and Acarology