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The Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (formerly the Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program)
Agency overview
Formed 1993
Jurisdiction United States Agency for International Development
Headquarters Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
Agency executive
  • Michael Bertelsen
  • , Program Director
  • R. Muniappan, Associate Program Director
  • Amer Fayad
Website [1]

The Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (formerly IPM CRSP)is one of eight collaborative research support programs set up by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to make use of the expertise found at American land grant universities in developing countries around the world.

Legislation that allowed for the creation of the CRSPs was passed in 1975 as an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, or Title XII – Famine Prevention and Freedom from Hunger. USAID then created the CRSPs, harnessing the resources of universities to allow aid from the United States to be spread efficiently across a broad scope.

By combining regional IPM programs with global cross-cutting themes, the IPM CRSP seeks to develop and implement agricultural IPM programs that benefit small-holder farmers and their communities.


Phase III: in 2007, the IPM CRSP was moved to EGAT’s Agriculture Technology Generation Outreach Team (EGAT/ATGO). The IPM CRSP complements the objectives of ATGO: providing assistance on the improvement of yields in crops and livestock systems for reducing production costs, increasing profits, improving nutritional quality or other consumer benefits, and reducing variability in output such as those due to weather and pest attacks.

IPM objectives[edit]

The IPM CRSP seeks to:

  • describe the technical factors that affect the development and adoption of pest management strategies
  • describe the social, economic, political and institutional factors that influence IPM
  • collaborate with U.S. and host country institutions to design, test, and evaluate participatory IPM strategies
  • collaborate with U.S. and host country institutions to promote training and information exchange on participatory IPM
  • collaborate with U.S. and host country institutions to foster policy and institutional changes in favor of IPM development and implementation


The IPM CRSP focuses efforts in areas that provide the most return on investment. With its applications to agriculture, environment, trade and gender equity issues, the IPM CRSP creates a pathway of development through two major schemes: global theme programs that deal with worldwide pest management challenges, and regional theme programs that address the needs of specific areas.

Regional Programs[edit]

The IPM CRSP focuses efforts in areas that provide the most return on investment. Under the Regional Themes Programs, the IPM CRSP addresses geographically delimited interventions. Although these programs are limited to specific areas, the CRSP has strategically selected programs from a range of geographic regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, East Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, West Africa, and Eastern Europe.

IPM in Latin America and the Caribbean: Crops for Broad-Based Growth and Perennial Production for Fragile Ecosystems

  • IPM programs for solanaceous plants, cucurbits, diversified highland vegetables, cacao and plantain.

Regional IPM Program in East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

  • IPM for improving productivity of high-value horticultural crops in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Ecologically-based Participatory IPM for Southeast Asia

  • IPM in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam—countries with large agricultural sectors and ecological hot spots for biodiversity loss.

Ecologically-based Participatory and Collaborative Research and Capacity-building in IPM in the Central Asia Region

  • Working with human resource development, networking and training programs to strengthen institutional IPM-training capability within the region.


West African Consortium of IPM Excellence

  • Creating a Regionally-integrated IPM research program in Mali, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea and Senegal.

IPM for Specialty Crops in Eastern Europe

  • Development and implementation of IPM programs in Albania, Moldova and Ukraine to decrease pesticide use in target crops, slow development of pesticide resistance, reduce resurgence of secondary pests, decrease pesticide exposure risk to humans, and improve marketing position of local agricultural commodities.

Global Theme Programs[edit]

Management of the Weed Parthenium

  • Development of a weed management system to reduce the impact of this worldwide scourge on humans, crops, livestock and plant biodiversity in eastern and southern Africa.

International Plant Diagnostics Network (IPDN)

  • Development of plant disease diagnostic capacity by creating labs in three regions: West Africa, East Africa, and Latin American and the Caribbean.

Integrated Management of Thrips-Borne Tospovirus in Vegetable Cropping Systems in South Asia

  • Minimizes crop losses due to thrips-borne tospoviruses in smallholder vegetable farming systems in South Asia.

Collaborative Assessment and Management of Insect-Transmitted Viruses

  • Develops integrated management stratgies to control virus diseases and insect vector populations.

Applications of IT and Databases in IPM; Development of Global IPM Tech Database

  • Applies IT to IPM issues in developing countries and develops a database.

IPM Impact Assessment

  • Develop impact assessment for each regional and global program, assesses IPM priorities, achievements, and benefits.

Long-term training[edit]

Long-term training includes graduate level degrees obtained by host country nationals in areas related to IPM. These areas include: agricultural economics, crop science, entomology, horticulture, plant biotechnology, plant pathology, plant science, and plant virology. The people that the IPM CRSP supports in this fashion become government officials responsible for setting and implementing agricultural policy; they become professors themselves who teach and perform research; and they serve on international agricultural bodies.

All IPM CRSP degree training is linked to research activities and aligned with project objectives. It engages long term degree training to strengthen the technical skills of research, teaching and extension faculty from U.S. and host country universities, national agricultural research institutions, NGOs and other relevant organizations. The strength of IPM CRSP’s training program is the integration of training with long-term research carried out by the researchers based at the U.S. and host country universities.

Short-term training[edit]

Short-term training involves workshops, seminars, farmer field schools, and train-the-trainer sessions — quick infusions of information into a population.

Gender in IPM[edit]

In many countries, the “farmer” is thought of as male even though in practice, a majority of women work the land. Without ensuring that women participate and have access to information, IPM programs can reinforce the marginalization of women. A focus on men’s crops in IPM may inadvertently create livelihood hardships for women.

Farm tasks are often gendered, with some carried out exclusively by women and others by men. Crops too are gendered, with peanuts or groundnut considered a women’s crop in some places, and men’s in others. These can change as migration, market forces, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and other factors alter labor patterns, sometimes leaving women in charge of farm tasks that were previously men’s responsibilities and for which they are not prepared.

In Albania, men spend the summer as migrant laborers, leaving the women behind to look after the farms. In Bangladesh, women may not work in open fields, but do cultivate vegetables and care for animals. Agricultural knowledge is also gendered. For instance, in the Kumi district of Uganda, men told IPM CRSP researchers that women did a better job of identifying an indigenous weed that looks very similar to finger millet at the seedling stage.

Studies conducted across all IPM CRSP sites show that women have an important role in pest management. In Mali, for instance, one approach to combating the white fly that is destroying tomatoes is applying a “no-host period.” This means that farmers wait a couple of months before planting in order to reduce opportunities for the fly to reproduce. Yet if only men (and men’s fields) participate in IPM projects while women and their home gardens are ignored, the “no-host period” does not work, as the white fly reproduces in women’s gardens and then comes out in full force to eat the "men’s" tomatoes.

Sometimes the crops or varieties men consider to be a priority do not even register in women’s rankings of key crops. Therefore, the first thing is to be sure women are included in the project from the start and that the obstacles to their participation and benefits are recognized and addressed. Women and men alike must be interviewed, and education about IPM should be provided to male and female farmers, and women’s networks, literacy, mobility, and cultural constraints taken into account.


External links[edit]

University of Nebraska

Michigan State University

managed by the University of Georgia

University of California, Davis

Oregon State University

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (SANREM) CRSP

Virginia Tech

University of Wisconsin