The Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (IPM Innovation Lab), a global group led by Virginia Tech and composed of scientists from the US and organizations across Asia and Africa, including IRRI, was awarded the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Team Award for Excellence at the 10th International IPM Symposium in Denver, Colorado last 28 February 2022.
One program of the IPM Innovation Lab is IRRI’s Development of an Ecologically-based Participatory Rice Integrated Pest Management in Cambodia Project, also known as the EPIC Project. IRRI scientists Dr. Virender Kumar and Dr. Rica Joy Flor were awarded as part of the IPM Innovation Lab team and for their work in the EPIC project.
In Cambodia, the EPIC project has adapted varied technologies including biological control, integrated weed management, ecologically-based rodent management, ecological engineering, and other agronomic practices that enable integrated pest management. The project has also examined mechanisms to scale IPM systems in Cambodia.
The IPM Innovation Lab works in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, with the aim to reduce crop losses caused by pests, damage to natural ecosystems including biodiversity, and contamination of food and water systems by adopting cost-effective and socially acceptable programs in developing countries. In addition, the group also monitors, models, and manages the spread of invasive species, organizes awareness and management workshops, and provides graduate training to students from developing countries. Over the last 27 years, the IPM Innovation Lab has generated at least $2 billion in economic benefits in the developing world.