Insect Resistance Management

Since their introduction, growers have rapidly adopted biotech-derived crops that have been improved to express proteins for insect control because these crops provide excellent protection from key damaging insect pests. By protecting yields against insect pests, these crops offer superior environment and health benefits, while also benefiting farmer livelihoods.

However, insect resistance development is an important concern for all stakeholders, including growers, technology providers, and the seed companies that develop biotech-derived crops. Given the benefits associated with insect protected seed, insect resistance management (IRM) must be a consideration when cultivating these crops. It is important that concerns about resistance should not be allowed to prevent the use of biotech crops; rather, these concerns should result in stewardship and management programs that effectively delay resistance while enabling the benefits of the technology to the environment and agriculture to be realized.

Insect resistance management plans need to be suitable for the given production situation. What works for large monoculture production systems in North and South America is unlikely to be appropriate for the small, more diverse agriculture of Southeast Asia or Africa. Although it is clear that insect protected crops impart considerable value to growers, it is also clear that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to preserve insect protected crops for the long-term benefits they provide.

To help growers, suppliers, and NGOs to provide accurate information on proper insect resistance management in agriculture, CropLife International and its partners have assembled an Insect Resistance Training Manual as a resource.