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For over 60 years the International Pesticide Application Research Centre (IPARC) has worked to improve crop protection through R&D and training to achieve safer, responsible and more efficient use of pesticides globally. This well-deserved title from the Farming and Agriculture Awards recognises their huge contribution to research and education.
“IPARC was created in 1955 by the UK Government to train staff in the safe and efficient use of pesticides. At the same time it started evaluating equipment for the World Health Organisation and assisting with their Guidelines and Specifications for pesticide application methods.”
“Thanks to our cutting-edge research and on-site specialist training we’ve been able to help manufacturers, farmers and policy makers worldwide by providing practical and cost-effective techniques to manage pests and vectors of devastating human diseases (such as malaria and onchocerciasis) – plus we’ve helped their environment by promoting the efficiency of natural processes and alternative biological agents, reducing their reliance on chemical pesticides.”
Explains Professor Graham Matthews
IPARC founder member
As part of integrated pest management programmes, IPARC has also conducted training for organisations including the FAO, UNIDO, WHO, ICI (now Syngenta), ASPEE India and universities in Nigeria, Trinidad and Zimbabwe. In Cameroon, NGO – the Yaounde Foundation Initiative was established to provide an integrated programme on vector control affecting human health to aid agricultural development.
“Looking ahead, the biggest challenge within the industry will be to produce more food as the human population is expected to increase to nine billion by 2050. Climate change will affect weather patterns – and new technologies, such as genetic engineering, will need to be integrated to ensure agricultural production is sufficient, economic and sustainable. Pesticides will continue to have a role, with ever-increasing urbanisation requiring new or improved methods of disease vector control in densely populated areas.”
Concludes Professor Matthews
To ensure the highest standards of education and support, IPARC is staffed from a mix of academic, public and private sector organisations including Imperial College London, the Natural Resources Institute – University of Greenwich, Harper Adams University, CABI and T L Wiles & Associates.
No doubt, the team will remain at the forefront in the development of applications for sustainable pest management systems in the future.
More about IPARC
Its unique focus on the needs of small-holder farmers in OECD countries has helped alleviate poverty and suffering through the improved control of serious agricultural pests and vectors of human diseases. Products and services have included…
- Research on spray nozzles using laser diffraction analysis led to the BCPC spray quality system, which has evolved into an International system.
- Evaluation of a prototype nozzle for Billericay Farm Services led to the ‘Bubblejet’ air induction nozzle, which reduces spray drift. This and similar AI nozzles are now used worldwide.
- Assisted Micron Sprayers with the development and implementation of very and ultra-low volume (ULV) spraying in semi-arid tropics, most widely used on cotton in Francophone countries in West Africa.
- Assisted ICI with the development of the ‘Electrodyn’ sprayer that was used successfully in several countries, including Brazil, Mozambique and Nigeria.
- Provided facilities for CABI and other collaborators on a large bio-control research project known as LUBILOSA to develop the myco-insecticide Metarhizium acridum, which remains the only effective biological control agent against locusts and other pest grasshoppers.
- Development of application techniques for other biopesticides, including insect and mollusc-pathogenic nematodes.
- Provided impartial testing of equipment for indoor residual spraying against mosquito vectors of malaria for the World Health organisation. Pioneered the constant flow control to reduce variability in deposits on walls.
- Collaborative work with CropLife International on various aspects including: responsible use of pesticides, resistance management, disposal of obsolete pesticide stocks and training in the use of application equipment.
- Developing an appropriate method for control of the larvae of Simulium blackflies – the vector of onchocerchiasis or River Blindness – known as ‘SPATE’ (Simulium Pirogue Application Technique) in Cameroon, involving using small boats rather than costly helicopters to treat blackly breeding sites.
- Numerous publications including books, scientific papers and guidelines
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