Towards Reduced Pesticide Use for Cereal Crops in Asia
Several opportunities are available for dramatically reducing the use of agrochemicals in Asian cereal crop production. The first section of this paper summarizes past trends and future prospects for pesticide use in Asia for the three major cereal crops: rice, wheat, and maize. The second section identifies factors that have contributed to rising farm-level demand for pesticides and factors that could lead to a reduction in their demand. The third section highlights the advances that have been made in generating and disseminating cereal crops with resistance to insects and diseases. It focuses on conventional breeding strategies for host-plant resistance as well as the current and potential contributions of biotechnology. Pesticide productivity, yield variability, and their relation to host-plant resistance are reviewed, along with evidence from trials and farmers' fields. The paper concludes with a discussion of the integrated management approaches that will be necessary for maximizing and sustaining the productivity gains offered by resistant varieties.
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