SAN and Oregon State University work together to transform agriculture


SAN and OSU will jointly develop science-based tools and programs for integrated pest management and pesticide risk management, founded upon ecological principles.

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and the Integrated Plant Protection Center (IPPC) of the Oregon State University recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines a plan of collaborative work toward increasing global adoption of integrated pest management (IPM), and reducing risks to human health and the environment posed by agricultural practices.

The main objective of the joint work is to design highly effective IPM intervention strategies for key crops and regions using participatory approaches that identify critical pest management challenges and the needed responses, and develop education supporting a transition to lower-risk IPM programs and away from highly hazardous pesticides.

Both organizations are committed to conducting research on the exposure of workers and bystanders to pesticides in order to provide a basis for developing realistic risk management criteria, and also to increase education on IPM to control pests with reduced or eliminated pesticide use.

The IPPC has successfully applied its innovative and robust IPM framework in several regions of the United States and in West Africa, resulting in increased adoption of IPM, and lower pesticide risks. SAN will incorporate IPPC’s processes for IPM assessment and implementation in southern hemisphere export crops. In addition, SAN and the IPPC will develop education and training materials and decision support tools for technical personnel, crop, and cattle producers.

SAN’s experience in educating technicians in tropical countries about more sustainable farming practices, and expertise in consultations and stakeholder dialogues will result in engaging more end-users in the research and will translate scientific knowledge into realistic practices that will contribute to a safer working environment.

”Merging the experience of OSU, a widely-recognized and leading research and extension institute on IPM and pesticide risk management world-wide, with SAN, experienced in transforming agriculture and cattle production in the tropics, will result in technically robust, customized, and user-friendly solutions for one of the biggest challenges currently facing agriculture: the excessive and uninformed use of chemical pesticides,” said Oliver Bach, SAN Standard & Policies Director.

Oregon State University’s IPPC has engaged in researching pesticide exposure to crop producers and farm workers using silicone wristbands that can detect unexpected pesticide exposures to handlers and bystanders in West Africa. IPPC is also calculating periods for restricting re-entry by workers to treated crops using new, science-based procedures developed by the IPPC.

“By joining forces with the SAN, the IPPC can scale-up its IPM and pesticide risk management programs in areas where there is significant need, and it can also integrate within the SAN’s processes and tools for engagement with farmers and industries to ensure high levels of uptake and implementation. Jointly, we also will expand the boundaries of IPM and introduce more ecologically sound thinking to the management of major export commodities” said Paul Jepson, IPPC Director.