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West African Regional Consortium of IPM Excellence

PI(s): Mullins, Donald E (Co-Project Leader), Brewster, Carlyle C (Co-Project Leader), Cobb, Jean M (Co-Project Leader), Hipkins, Patricia A (Co-Project Leader), Westwood, James (Co-Project Leader)

Abstract: This project is part of a USAID funded Integrated Pest Management CRSP that seeks to develop regional IPM programs in West Africa. It involves five African countries including: Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and multiple institutions in these countries and the US.

Description:Virginia Tech has assumed leadership for a regionalized West Africa IPM CRSP Regional Consortium of Excellence. This project includes an investment plan for a strong collaboration of host country partners focused on research that will lead to improvements in the farmers livelihoods of rural agricultural households and improving the environments in which people live. The Sahelian and Sudano-Guinean ecozones extend through many CILSS countries, resulting in shared pest problems. USAID has several country missions in CILSS countries, but it has also taken a regional approach through its West Africa Regional Program (WARP) with offices in Ghana and Mali. The US collaborators for this project include: Virginia Tech, University of California-Davis, Purdue University, and Fort Valley State University and various research, extension, and governmental agencies in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal. Some of the main features of this project will include: 1. Development of a regional pest management system for whitefly pests as they affect production of a variety of crops (tomatoes, potatoes, cotton, etc.) grown in the West African region. 2. Development and implementation of IPM strategies for viral diseases of tomato based on improved understanding of pathogen ecology and biology in West Africa. 3. Development of information on the influence of agroecosystem biodiversity on plant virus levels and, 4. Development a regional quality assurance program addressing pesticide safety education and pesticide residue training