PRIORITY PROGRAMS IN RESEARCH
IWEP will pursue researches towards developing knowledge and technologies that will increase the productivity and income of the agricultural sector, through appropriate pest management in diversified cropping systems, using landscape ecology as its perspective. Increased productivity and income will be attained through efficient agricultural production and providing opportunities for diversified sources of income for the farming communities.
The priority research areas that the cluster will engage in are the following:
1. Environmental impact of pest management practices and impact in public health and urban environments.
- The cluster will harness the benefit from mature crop protection technologies like pesticidal GMOs, exotics and mycotoxins by prioritizing research on risk assessments and management of the aforementioned technologies. Moreover, it will systematically build a database on pesticide residues in foods, feeds, and the environment in aid of policies.
2. Integrated Pest Management
Development of pest management strategies for:
- .Different crops and cropping systems
- Major crops (i.e... rice, corn, coconut, fruit trees - mango, citrus, banana, sugarcane, medicinal plants)
- Minor crops (i.e... abaca, solanaceous - tomato, eggplant, pepper, potato; crucifers; herbs and spices like onions, garlic; cucurbits; legumes; pineapple, ornamentals)
- Post harvest commodities (i.e... mango, rice, corn, banana, vegetables, ornamentals)
- Non-agricultural environments (golf courses, parks, business establishments); structural pests; vectors of human and animal diseases, turf pests
- Pesticidal GM crops
3. Utilization of insects, microorganisms and weeds with potential benefits as, but not limited to:
- . Food (weeds, insects, and mushrooms)
- . Nutraceuticals and medicines (weeds, insects, fungi)
- . Bio-pesticides
- . Industrial and livelihood uses (silkworm, honeybees, butterflies, mushrooms)
- . Bioremediation (weeds, microorganisms, insects, etc.
This is the Cluster's response to harness the non-agricultural benefits from the above-mentioned crop protection resources. Researches on the utilization of the above resources are envisioned to diversify the sources of income of the farming community by providing seasonal productive livelihood activities and developing their entrepreneurial skills.
4. Biodiversity, Ecology and Physiology
The cluster will promote and generate researches on the systematics, ecology and physiology of pests and non-pests in agricultural systems and associated natural systems. The results will provide the knowledge of ecological and evolutionary processes in and out of farming systems as foundations of pest management as well as for the development of novel biotechnology-based pest detection systems. Information on pests, vectors, natural enemies, and other beneficiaIs will be consolidated into field guides, handbooks, books, monographs, and similar media forms, all of which hope to enhance the efficiency of pest monitoring and forecasting, as well as, advance the capabilities of the country's quarantine facilities.
With the manpower at hand, it will also participate actively in conservation efforts of the country's rich biological resources as they relate to the sustainable development of agricultural systems and the protection of endemic biota in natural systems.