Jürgen Kroschel, Norma Mujica, Jesus Alcazar, Veronica Canedo and Octavio Zegarra
Global Program – Integrated Crop and System Research, International Potato Center (CIP), 1558, Lima 12, Peru.
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is cultivated in diverse agroecosystems, which may harbor different insect pests; accordingly, potato farmers need to have appropriate site-specific pest control solutions. We developed Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies for potato production systems of the high Andes and the coast of Peru. This required considering all economically important pests and developing technological innovations to replace farmers’ pesticide applications with equal efficacy. Examples are the use of plastic barriers that effectively prevent infestations of migrating Andean potato weevils (Premnotrypes spp.), the use of attract-and-kill for managing potato tuber moths [Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller), Symmetrischema tangolias (Gyen.)], or the rational use of insecticides to control flea beetles (Epitrix spp.) in the Andean highlands, or the leafminer fly [Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard)] and the bud midge [Prodiplosis longifila (Gagne)] in the coastal lowlands. Moreover, the resilience of potato agroecosystems can be increased through augmentation strategies for natural enemies at the field level and inoculative biological control to recuperate species lost through the intensive use of pesticides. Potato IPM showed clear economic and ecological benefits at pilot sites. Strong public-private partnerships will be crucial for technology delivery, and well-trained field advisors are required to support the specific needs of farmers to adopt IPM.