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Integrated pest management (IPM) is defined as a farmer-based and knowledge-intensive management approach that encourages natural and cultural control of pest populations by anticipating pest problems and managing their numbers to reduce losses, while permitting safer pesticide uses where justified and permitted. Many indigenous, as well as newly-developed, non-chemical techniques are available for use. These include combinations of biological control, habitat manipulation, soil health management, use of resistant varieties, and modification of cultural practices (expanded upon below). IPM focuses on long-term prevention of pests and their damage and is USAID policy. Pesticides are considered curative, and generally should be used as a last resort.

USAID’s IPM Sector Environmental Guidelines are designed to encourage the use of natural and cultural pest management tactics to the extent possible while permitting the safe integration of pesticides, as needed, with farmers’ traditional cropping and pest management systems.