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The Fighting Fungus: Integrated Pest Management

Trichoderma eats the bad fungi that threaten healthy crops. It’s one example of a low cost technology that can be a game-changer for small farmers—if they know it exists.

December 8, 2016

Crop diseases are a major problem for small farmers in developing countries. But many farmers are unaware of safe, effective treatments, like Trichoderma, so they turn to chemical pesticides, endangering their health and the natural environment.

In Cambodia and Nepal, iDE is partnering with Virginia Tech, alongside other universities, local government offices, and local NGOs, to develop safe methods of protecting plants. These are organic solutions that farmers can afford to buy, or even produce themselves.

iDE Cambodia 

A recent workshop led by Feed The Future Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech was held at the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodian students, researchers, and policy makers learned how Trichoderma works, how to identify it, how to turn its benefits into a business, and how to incorporate its disease-fighting benefits into their agriculture practices. 

“I learned a lot from this course, and I think that we can cut down the use of agrochemicals by integrating Trichoderma as the bio-control agent.” —Mr. Kang Savang

iDE Nepal

Dr. Kean Sophea is a Cambodian entrepreneur who attended a similar workshop put on by the IPM Innovation Lab in Nepal, and started his own business producing and selling Trichoderma.

“The workshop in Nepal provided us with this low-cost technology. I think it is very good!” —Dr. Kean Sophea

Filmed by Bimala Rai Colavito, Volunteer for iDE Nepal

The Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab in Nepal is developing and improving IPM packages for major vegetable crops using safe technologies and bio products. These include pheromone traps, greenhouses, grafting, and disease resistant plant varieties. 

iDE Cambodia and iDE Nepal will continue educating farmers, building supply chains and promoting sustainable business models so that more farm families can benefit from these safe, effective practices.