Achieving sustainable food production in Africa: Roles of pesticides and biological control agents in integrated pest management
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Food production in Africa is declining, while her population is increasing rapidly. Some factors responsible for low food productivity are mentioned; special attention is given to the problem of agricultural pests. The hazards of overuse of pesticides in developed countries are cited to caution farmers in developing countries from getting drawn into a similar situation when attempting to solve pest problems. Integrated pest management (IPM), which aims to increase food productivity and profitability without endangering the environment, is recommended as a sustainable solution to the pesticide problem. The role of biological control agents, i.e., introduction, augmentation and preservation of natural enemies is emphasized. In developing sustainable agriculture through IPM, the importance of incorporating farmers' traditional methods of farming into an IPM package and of identifying farmers' overriding concerns, is recommended as a prerequisite to the acceptability and success of such packages.