Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem approach to crop production and protection that combines different management strategies and practices to grow healthy crops and minimize the use of pesticides. IPM is an approach-based method for analysis of the agro-ecosystem and the management of its different elements to control pest and keep them at an acceptable level (action threshold) with respect to the economic, health and environmental requirements.


Left, a green Lacewing, and right, a Lady Beetle, which are key components of integrated pest management. FAO provides assistance to farmers through extension of integrated pest management systems. ©FAO/Danfung Dennis

Several kinds of pests can infest the different parts of plants/crops, and damage them partially or sometimes completely, seriously affecting the quantity and quality of the yield. Moreover, certain crop production intensification practices (e.g. early season spraying of pesticides in rice fields) can even increase the impact of pests on plants. In order to protect their plants, farmers used to spray chemical products (pesticides). However, these chemicals could have a negative effect on and cause serious damage to health and the environment as well as, sometimes, on to the health of the plant itself.


IPM includes the necessary Phytosanitary measures, monitoring and diagnostic system, good agricultural practices and the management of natural enemies with the minimum amount of pesticides (when needed and of good quality). IPM is thus an important part of Integrated Plant Production Management (IPPM) and sustainable crop production intensification. By enhancing the ecosystem function, by making the agricultural ecosystem healthier, more ecosystem services are provided: in this case, pest control.


©FAO/Olivier Asselin
©FAO/Olivier Asselin