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Improving production

Our goal: Develop environmentally safe and sustainable means of profitable vegetable production to increase the supply of safe vegetables to consumers.

The Center develops safe, efficient methods for smallholder farmers to produce vegetables in different production systems.

Farmers must protect crops from pests and diseases, and misuse of pesticides is a serious problem in developing countries. Pesticide residue harms the environment and the health of farmers and consumers. AVRDC develops biological, mechanical, and cultural methods for integrated pest management (IPM) of important insect pests and bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases in vegetables. Key successes include IPM systems for controlling eggplant fruit and shoot borer in South Asia, simple protective production systems, and grafting technologies for tomato and pepper production in the hot-wet season.

The Center also works on low cost drip-irrigation, fertilization, and crop rotation systems suited to smallholders, and has ongoing programs to integrate, disseminate, and extend these improved technologies.

Expertise

  • Effective integrated pest management technologies. We develop effective and simple diagnostic tools for characterizing and monitoring major insect pests and bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. We also evaluate resistant lines, biological control methods, and cultural practices to develop integrated management technologies for major pests, and we are a partner in developing the CGIAR Systemwide Program on Integrated Pest Management.
  • Integrated crop and soil fertility management technologies. The water requirements of selected vegetables are being characterized under different agroecosystems. Integrated crop and soil fertility management packages are being developed for selected vegetables to improve the efficiency of water and nutrient use.
  • Partnerships to extend production technologies: We work with national agricultural research and extension systems, NGOs, and small-scale farmers to expand the adoption of vegetable production technologies that improve farm productivity, increase incomes, and help sustain farm livelihoods. We identify major constraints and determine site-specific dissemination strategies in targeted regions, work with advanced research institutions to develop new technologies, and strengthen the capacity of local partners and farmers to promote technology adoption. Our research seeks to understand the impact of improved technologies on production systems and livelihoods.