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)