Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the combined use of compatible methods of pests and diseases control that include ecological, physical, biological and chemical controls. IPM reduces use of chemical pesticides and negative environmental and food chain impacts. The major sources of pest and disease in oil palm estates are leaf-eating caterpillars, rhinoceros beetles, Ganoderma basal stem rot, and rats. The research arm of Sime Darby Plantation has contributed vastly in pioneering work and developing breakthroughs in the oil palm industry in terms of IPM. The Company has adopted biological controls for integrated pest management since 1990s and to-date, over 329,000 hectares of oil palm in Sime Darby Plantation is managed under IPM. These pest management methods include:
- Direct bio-control agents such as viruses and fungi to infect the pests such as Cordyceps to manage the population of the nettle caterpillar.
- Predatory animals/insects such as barn owls that feed on pests namely rats to control their population. Barn owls and snakes keep check on the rodent population, while predatory insects, parasitoids and entomo-fungi eliminate lead-defoliating insects. Beneficial plants are cultivated to provide shelter and supplementary food such as nectar in encouraging the population of predators and parasites.
- Environment-friendly pesticides. Pesticides are only resorted to in outbreak situation where natural enemy pressure is no longer sufficient to manage the pest population. Once the situation is within control, natural controls will be reactivated. Nevertheless, the company does not use WHO Class 1A (including paraquat) pesticides as per our standard practice. Decision to phase out Class 1B has also been made.
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