Evaluating IPM programs adopted for management of date palm pests in Arab countries


Abstract: Integrated pest management (IPM) programs are very effective solutions to mitigate pest problems and avoid the negativities connected to intensive use and misuse of pesticides. There are many reports and studies on various IPM components including the integration of innovative tactics and biotechnology products with other traditional agents to implement IPM programs to control date palm pests in the Arab countries. Nevertheless, the success of applied practices to solve the problem of the target pest was unsatisfactory in many cases. It is critically important to evaluate the IPM adopted programs by using an objective scale/measure. While most of the Arab countries already apply many IPM components in current programs, there is no consensus on a valid scale to assess the level of IPM implementation and the effectiveness of the practices in controlling date palm pests. This underlies the importance of identifying an appropriate assessment scale that is applicable under the conditions of the Arab region to determine the level of IPM adoption programs prevailing in date palm pest management, as well as to encourage studies on the assessment of the use and implementation of existing IPM programs under the local conditions of each country. Of course, this situation also necessitates some questions that have crossed the minds of many specialists and even end-users, including what is the prevailing level of IPM system adopted in the management of pest problems on the date palm? What are the determinants of the of IPM programs’ success in reducing these problems? How can we develop programs to achieve the goals? How can the real value of the IPM programs be evaluated? This paper is intended to tackle all the above mentioned concerns, in addition to their health, environmental, and economic impacts.

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