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CAB Review

IPM for tropical crops: rice.


Rice is a staple food and the foundation of national stability and economic growth in many developing countries. Rice pests are major biotic constraints limiting rice production globally. This review discusses the biology, ecology, global distribution and plant damage and yield losses caused by insect pests, plant diseases, nematodes, rats and weeds. The interactions among insects, weeds and diseases are discussed. A proposed conceptual framework for arthropod pest management in organic crop production is explained. In this framework, arthropod pest management strategies are classified into four 'phases'. The framework prioritizes pest management options that will prevent damaging levels of pests (phase 1 and 2) and minimize the need for curative actions (phases 3 and 4). We adopt and modify this conceptual framework to structure a discussion on various rice pest management options in rice ecosystems. A detailed package of practices for managing rice pests is given. The relative efficiencies of the Farmers Field Schools and mass media campaigns in transferring IPM technology to rice farmers are discussed.