This is the winter 2017 issue of the IPM Innovation Lab newsletter.
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Muni's Musings

Hello readers,

Thank you for taking the time to read our winter installment of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab newsletter.

The last few months have included project planning meetings, invasive pest workshops, and even an international conference on climate change and biodiversity in Nepal.

Over the last few months, one of our main focuses has been the South American tomato leafminer pest, Tuta absoluta.

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IPM Innovation Lab project hosts international climate change conference in Nepal

President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurates the conference along with organizers from Tribhuvan University and Agriculture and Forestry University.

To work on important issues in the face of climate change, the IPM Innovation Lab’s project on biodiversity and climate change assessment in Nepal organized the three-day International Conference on Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment, and Impacts on Livelihood in Nepal from January 10-12.

The conference was inaugurated by Nepal’s president Bidya Devi Bhandari, who discussed the importance of scientists and government officials working together to address climate change.

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IPM Innovation Lab compiles book on 20 years of IPM in tropical countries

Ugandan scientists Robinah Ssonko, Samuel Kyamanywa, Jheninah Karungi, and a student from Makerere University display tomato and eggplant seedlings grown using integrated pest management practices. Karungi and Kyamanywa co-authored a chapter in the book about the success of integrated pest management on vegetable-growing in Uganda.
Skeptics of integrated pest management have always existed, especially doubters of its effectiveness in the developing world where food insecurity is a daily struggle. But a new book edited by Virginia Tech entomologist Rangaswamy “Muni” Muniappan shows the vital role of environmentally friendly integrated pest management practices in feeding the world’s growing population.

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Innovation Lab collaboration works to control insects that attack Niger’s most important food crop

Two pearl millet headminers living on and destroying a millet plant. Millet is the most important food crop in Niger, a food-insecure country in West Africa.

Two major pests attack pearl millet, the most important food crop in Niger in West Africa, and some scientists and policymakers believed that only one of them could be controlled.

But Virginia Tech entomologist and IPM Innovation Lab Director Muni Muniappan had a hunch.

He was determined to find out whether researchers in Niger could successfully battle both insects. So he applied for a grant from the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab at Kansas State University, seeking to tackle both pests using nonchemical means.

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IPM Innovation Lab leads international workshops on destructive tomato pest

When scientists in Bangladesh first noticed the presence of tiny moths on their tomato plants last spring, they were worried but not surprised. Virginia Tech experts had braced them for the invasion.

“Because we conducted the Tuta absoluta awareness workshops a year ago, the administration, scientists, NGOs, and others are now fully aware of the pest,” said Muni Muniappan, director of the USAID-funded Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab that led the conferences.

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Recent Highlights and Happenings

The team from the Modeling for Climate Change and Biodiversity in Nepal project at the International Conference for Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment, and Impact of Livelihoods in Kathmandu.
IPM Innovation Lab projects begin planning meetings
So far, we have held planning meetings for five of our eight projects: Rice IPM in Cambodia, Climate Change and Biodiversity Assessment in Nepal, Asia Vegetable IPM, Modeling Invasive Species, and right now, IPM IL Director Muni Muniappan is in Vietnam for the Exportable Fruit Crops in Vietnam IPM. Later this month, Associate Director Amer Fayad will attend the planning meeting for the East Africa Vegetable IPM project, and in July, the Biological Control for the Invasive Weed Parthenium project and the East Africa Grains IPM project will hold their meetings.
Associate Vice President for International Affairs joins Asia Vegetable planning meeting
Karl Markgraf, Virginia Tech's Associate Vice President for International Affairs attended one of the planning meeting for the Asia Vegetable IPM project. He attended the meeting in Cambodia at the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh. 

Amer Fayad attends Future Innovation Labs West Africa Regional Partners Meeting
The meeting, which was entitled “Identifying agricultural priorities and strengthening partnerships" took place in Senegal from February 6-10, 2017. 


A Look Ahead

Exportable Fruit Crops in Vietnam Planning Meeting
March 1-6, 2017 in Tien Gang, Vietnam

East Africa Vegetables IPM Planning Meeting
March 21-23, 2017 in Embu, Kenya

IPM Annual Technical Advisory Committee and Program Planning Committee Meetings
July 10-14, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting 
November 5-9, 2017 in Denver, Colorado, USA

12th Arab Congress of Plant Protection
November 5-9, 2017 in Cairo, Egypt

International IPM Symposium: Improving Health, Environment, and Global Sustainability
March 19-22, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) 2018: Plant Health in A Global Economy
July 29 – August 3, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA



The USAID-funded Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management at Virginia Tech raises the standard of living of people in developing countries by working with them to develop the best solutions to the agricultural challenges they face. In addition to reducing damage caused by pests and diseases, the program also deals with issues such as gender, health, nutrition, equitable use of resources, and agricultural education.
Copyright © 2017 Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, All rights reserved.

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