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Integrated Pest Management In Indian

Agriculture: A Developing Economy


Perspective
Vijesh V. Krishna
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India
N.G. Byju
Department of Agricultural Entomology
University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India
S. Tamizheniyan
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
Regardless of political ideology, environmental issues are becoming paramount in all
economic systems from the very poor to the very rich. India, one of the worlds largest
agricultural economies, poses no exception. Demand for chemical pest control and resulting
negative externalities have expanded greatly during the last four decades (Chand and Birthal
1997).
Three decades back, intensive and extensive cultivation of high yielding varieties of crops
were introduced in India to increase food grain production. The new crop varieties and
cropping sequences, especially monocropping, along with injudicious and indiscriminate use
of pesticides created many problems. Several hitherto unimportant pest species began to
cause economic losses. Others, especially polyphagous insects, have precipitated national
problems (Srinivasa 1993). One glaring example is the old world bollworm, Helicoverpa
armigera (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera), which caused a 66 per cent reduction in the yield of seed
cotton in Andhra Pradesh State during the 1987-88 crop season. Previously, this pest only
seriously affected rabi crops such as chickpea and was commonly known as the gram pod
borer. Similar outbreaks have been reported for other insects: Whitefly in 1984-85 and 198586 in South Indian states, and tobacco caterpillar in 1977-78 and 1979-80 in the states of
Tamil Nadu and Gujarat (Arunakumara 1995) and more recently, coconut mite, Aceria
guererronis (Eriophyidae: Acarinae).
The agrochemical industry in India now produces 47,020 metric tons of pesticide (Directorate
of Plant Protection and Quarantine 2002). Growth in pesticide consumption by Indian
Agriculture is shown in Figure 1. Although pesticide consumption in India is low (around 500
g per ha) compared to other countries like Japan (12 kg per ha) and Germany (3 kg per ha),
problems in India resulting from unregulated use are quite alarming. The predominant
classes of pesticides used in India (during 2000-01) were insecticides, accounting for 61 per
cent of total consumption, followed by fungicides (19 %) and herbicides (17 %) (Fig 2). In
India, most pesticide use is on cotton (45%), followed by rice (22%) (Fig. 3).

In recent years, low external inputs and traditional techniques, including non-chemical
alternatives, have been increasingly urged for India. These are viewed as technology options
that could help create sustainable systems and decrease or avoid the needs for expensive and
undesirable chemical inputs. Alternative agriculture has argued for an economically viable
production to be viewed in the context of a healthier, environmentally friendly and
sustainable chemical agriculture and the need for investment in low external input and non-

chemical alternatives that include farmer empowerment. Numerous models exist and have
been advocated and based on their respective inputs / nutrient management principles. They
may be broadly classified into: (a) Integrated Pest Management (IPM), (b) Low External
Input Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA), and (c) Organic Agriculture. Many sustainable
agriculture initiatives and approaches based on these principles have now proved successful,
with use of pesticides varying from more to only a limited amount. Of these, IPM is the one
commonly advocated and widely adopted.

Status of IPM in India


India has an agrarian economy, where the 1012.4 million population is dependent on
agricultural commodities from 124.07 million hectares cropped area cultivated by 110.7
million producers (Prasad 2001). For rapid dissemination of IPM information, IPM related
activities are being implemented through 26 Central Integrated Pest Management Centers
(CIPMCs) located in 23 States and Union Territories.
Major activities under the IPM approach include undertaking sample roving surveys for
monitoring pest/disease situations on major crops, production and release of bio-control
agents and conducting Farmers Field Schools (FFSs). Pest/disease situations are monitored
regularly in the states covering 644,000 hectares (ha) of the targeted area of 469,000 ha. Pest
situation reports received from field stations and states were compiled and comprehensive
weekly and monthly reports circulated to the concerned officers and scientists of State
Departments of Agriculture/State Agricultural Universities and ICAR Institutes to help them
take appropriate remedial measures.
A total of 16,260 thousand bio-control agents have been mass produced in the laboratories
and released (up to December, 2002) against insect pests in rice, cotton, sugarcane, pulses,
vegetables and oilseeds (against the targeted release of 11,570 thousands during the year
2002-03. (40.54 % increase than expected) An area of 523 thousands ha has been covered
against the targeted area of 367 thousands ha. in different states against various insect pests
through augmentation and conservation (a 42.51 % increase over expected)
(http://agricoop.nic.in/plantprotec02.htm).
During the eight-year period from 1994-95 to 2001-02, the government of India spent nearly
Rs. 14,926 million for biocontrol of pests on different crops, covering a land area of 4.3
million hectares. In addition to this, Rs. 59 million was spent for pest monitoring. The largest
states of India, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and
Karnataka, rank highest in accomplishing IPM. A smaller state, Punjab has also done well in
IPM (Table 1). The disparity between different components of IPM accomplishment should
be noted.
Table 1. Accomplishments of IPM in India (During 1994-95 to 2001-02)

Major States and All India

Pest Monitoring
Biocontrol
(Million Rupees)

IPM Training &


Demonstration

Release
(Million
Rupees)

Area
Coverage
(Lakh ha)

Number of FFSs

AEOs
Trained

Farmers
Trained

States

Punjab

3.00

596.40

3.03

382

2 140 12 970

Madhya
Pradesh

3.62

1033.25

2.81

439

1 945

13
611

Karnataka

2.69

1471.15

3.00

428

2 037

14
210

Andhra Pradesh 5.40

1461.85

3.84

704

2 334

21
104

Uttar Pradesh

7.49

1494.43

4.38

852

2 886

22
305

Maharashtra

2.62

938.80

2.80

792

3 912

24
960

All India - Achievement

58.89

14925.70 42.63

7 257

30
381

219
141

All India - Targets

54.00

14000.00 38.50

7 620

37
560

224
960

Abbr: FFSs: Farmer's Field Schools. AEOs: Agriculture Extension Officers.


Source: National Conference of Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2002-03, Ministry of
Agriculture, Govt. of India.

It can be also seen that the states that are progressing with IPM, are also ahead in using
synthetic agrochemicals. Figure 4 indicates such a positive and significant relationship
between consumption of pesticides and investment in IPM. This may indicate an increase in
gross cropped area accounts for the increased expenditure on IPM rather than the policy
changes of selected districts.
Table 2 shows the major bio pesticides consumed in India - Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and
neem-based insecticides. India needs an improved and newer group of bio pesticides. The
exponential rate of increase in bio pesticide consumption (together with reduced synthetic
pesticide consumption) is a positive sign that Indias agricultural community is becoming
more concerned about the negative consequences of agrochemical usage.
Table 2. Bio Pesticide Consumption in India [MT(Tech. Grade)]

Bio pesticide

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

33

41

71

135

132

Neem based insecticides

186

354

411

739

551

Total

219

395

482

874

683

Source: Directorate of Plant Protection and Quarantine, Faridabad

Economics of IPM
To date, successful IPM programs have produced many benefits. These include (i) lower
production costs (at farm level), (ii) enormous savings for governments from reduced
pesticide imports and subsidies for pesticide use, (iii) reduced environmental pollution,
particularly improved soil and water quality, (iv) reduced farmer and consumer risks from
pesticide poisoning and related hazards, and (v) ecological sustainability by conserving
natural enemy species, biodiversity, and genetic diversity.
As mentioned earlier, the acceptability of a farming practice is primarily determined by shortterm profitability. IPM attempts to integrate available pest control methods to achieve a
farmers most effective, economical, and sustainable combination for a particular local
situation. Studies have been carried out to examine the resource use pattern and profitability
of IPM vis--vis non-IPM farming practices. The results of a recent study are presented in
Table 3.
A study of the costs and returns of IPM and non-IPM farms in rice cultivation in the
Thanjavur Delta of Tamil Nadu by Tamizheniyan during 2001 showed that IPM farms were
resource efficient and more productive and profitable than non-IPM farms.
Table 3. Costs and Returns of IPM and Non-IPM farms in rice cultivation Thanjavur Delta,
Tamil Nadu State (Rs./Acre)
Particulars

IPM (Rs.)

Non-IPM (Rs.)

Pooled (Rs.)

434.70

420.98

(4.06)

(4.16)

(4.11)

999.50

791.94

895.72

(9.96)

(7.58)

(8.75)

1230.33

1791.03

1510.68

(12.26)

(17.14)

(14.75)

230.75

727.38

479.07

(2.30)

(6.96)

(4.68)

5633.17

5386.73

5509.94

407.25
Seed

Organic Manure

Chemical Fertilizer

Plant Protection Chemicals

Human Labour

(51.53)
(56.15)

Animal / Tractor Charge

(53.79)

1266.87

1114.38

1190.63

(12.63)

(10.66)

(11.62)

264.37

205.60

234.98

(2.64)

(1.97)

(2.29)

10032.24

10451.76

10242.00

(100.00)

(100.00)

(100.00)

Gross Return

16,213.17

14,900.93

15,557.05

Net Return

6180.93

4449.17

5315.05

BC ratio

1.62

1.43

1.53

Other Costs

Total Cost

Note: Figures in parentheses show percentages to total cost.


Source: Tamizheniyan, 2001.
The total cost per acre on IPM farms was Rs. 10,452 compared to Rs. 10,032 on non
IPM farms. The gross return was Rs. 16,213 compared to Rs. 14,900. The Benefit Cost
Ratio was 1.62 for IPM, compared to 1.43 for Non-IPM farms.
Similar results were obtained in another study conducted on the economics of the IPM
approach in Basmati rice (Garg 1999). The main aim of that study was to develop an IPM
system in Basmati rice that would make farmers aware of the ill effects of indiscriminate use
of pesticides and the benefits of IPM. Yield data showed that all IPM farmers secured higher
rice yields than those using conventional chemical control tactics. It was also evident that
farmers practice of not applying pesticide or very little pesticide was better than the
indiscriminate use of pesticide which might have suppressed the natural enemy population.

Farmers perception about hazardous effects of Pesticides


Although IPM has been accepted in principle as the most attractive option for protection of
agricultural crops from the ravages of insect and non-insect pests, implementation at farm

level in India had been rather limited (Puri 1998). Production uncertainty is commonly
believed to be an impediment to adoption of less pesticide-intensive methods in agriculture
such as IPM (Hurd 1994). To understand the Indian farmers perception about hazardous
effects of pesticides, a survey was conducted among rice farmers following IPM and nonIPM practices in the Thanjavur delta, a major rice production belt of peninsular India
(Tamizheniyan, 2001). The results are presented in Table 4.
Table 4: Farmers perception about hazardous effects of pesticides
Categories

Farmers
Perception

IPM
farmers

Non IPM
farmers

Pesticides are not highly hazardous to


human health

No effect

Very little effect

10

Little effect

15

Pesticides are hazardous to human health Much effect

13

Very much effect

11

High effect

Total

40

40

Source: Tamizheniyan 2001.


It can be observed that the IPM farmers were more likely to see pesticides as causing
hazardous effects to human health than were non-IPM farmers. One-sample c2 Test was
employed (Appendix I) on these data and showed this observation to be statistically
significant at a 5 per cent level of significance. This difference in attitude towards negative
externality created by pesticide use might be acting as an impediment towards adoption of
pesticide saving farming practices like IPM.

Conclusion
The increasing cost of plant protection and accelerating pest incidents make agriculture a
risky and less profitable enterprise. At the same time the toxic materials generated from

chemical farming pollute the environment and harm consumers and farmers health. A more
environmentally friendly and economical alternative for India would be adoption of
Integrated Pest Management. Additionally, from the viewpoint of sustainability, attaining
growth while maintaining the natural capital intact, IPM is superior compared to conventional
farming (Chopra 1993). It should, therefore be appreciated and encouraged to a greater extent
both by governments and NGOs'.

References

Arunakumara, V.K. 1995. Externalities in the use of pesticides: An economic analysis


in a Cole crop. MSc Thesis (Unpblished), UAS, Bangalore.

Chand, Ramesh and Birthal, P.S. 1997. Pesticide use in Indian agriculture in relation
to growth in area and production and technological change. Indian Journal of
Agricultural Economics, 52(3): 488-498.

Chopra, K. 1993.Sustainability of agriculture. Indian Journal of Agricultural


Economics, 48(3): 527-537

Garg, D.K.1999. Development of an IPM approach in Basmati rice. Annual Report,


NCIPM, p: 13-19.

Hurd, B.H. 1994. Yield response and production risk: An analysis of integrated pest
management in cotton. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 19 (2): 313326.

Karanth, N.G.K. 2002. Challenges of Limiting Pesticide Residues in Fresh


Vegetables: The Indian Experience. In E. Hanak, E. Boutrif, P. Fabre, and M. Pineiro,
(Scientific Editors), Food Safety Management in Developing Countries. Proceedings
of the International Workshop, CIRAD-FAO, pp.11-13, December 2000, Montpellier,
France.

Prasad, S.S. 2001. Country Report India. Report prepared for the meeting of the
Programme Advisory Committee (PAC), Ayutthaya, Thailand, November 2001.

Puri, S.N. 1998. Present status of Integrated Pest Management in India. Paper
presented at Seminar on IPM, Asian Productivity Organization at Thailand
Productivity Institute, Bangkok.

Srinivasa, D.K..1993. Environment and human health. Environmental problems and


prospects in India, Oxford and IBH Publications, New Delhi.

Tamizheniyan, S. 2001. Integrated Pest Management in rice farming in Thiruvarur


District of Tamil Nadu: A Resource Economic analysis. MSc Thesis (Unpublished),
UAS, Bangalore.

Appendix I: atistical Significance of Farmers Perception towards Hazardous effect of


pesticides in rice farming

IPM Farmers

Non-IPM Farmers

Null hypothesis, H0: Perception of farmers is


Null hypothesis, H0: Perception of farmers is
not different across all categories.
not different across all categories.
Alternative Hypothesis, H1: Farmers think
pesticides as hazardous for human health.

Level of Significance, a = 0.05

Degrees of Freedom, df = 5

c2 calculated = 14.9

c2 table(a = 0.05, df = 5) = 11.07

Decision: Reject H0

Alternative Hypothesis, H1: Farmers think


pesticides as not hazardous for human health.

Level of Significance, a = 0.05

Degrees of Freedom = 5

c2 calculated = 18.5

c2 table(a = 0.05, df = 5) = 11.07

Decision: Reject H0

Conclusion: Farmers general perception is


Conclusion: Farmers general perception is that
that pesticides are hazardous to human health pesticides are not hazardous to human health
Source: Computed from Table 4.