Sustainable Pest Control for the Tropics

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2000: $78,090.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $81,200.00
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Richard Bowen
Department of Nat Res and Envir Mngt

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: avocados, bananas, melons, pineapples
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, eggplant, greens (leafy), sweet corn
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals


  • Crop Production: cover crops, fallow, intercropping, multiple cropping, no-till, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, relay cropping, strip tillage, stubble mulching
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, competition, cultural control, economic threshold, mulches - living
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, sustainability measures


    Island ecosystems are very vulnerable to environmental impacts from toxic pest control chemicals. This project provides training for agricultural professionals in Hawaii and the American Pacific to become more familiar with less toxic alternatives for pest control.

    A Working Group (with representatives from HI-CES, HI-NRCS, UH researchers, community colleges, farmers, farmer organizations, and researchers and extension personnel in the American Pacific) was established to guide the project and to develop training modules on various pest control methods appropriate for tropical island ecosystems. The training module and extension materials were prepared and delivered in an intensive two-day training program in Hawaii. Video teleconferencing was used to broadcast segments from the training module to participating colleagues throughout the American Pacific. Extension agents, NRCS staff, and agricultural professionals teamed together to install ten demonstration sites. Demonstrations were conducted to field test sustainable pest techniques and to provide a participatory learning experience for the ag professionals. Field days were held by the ag professionals to showcase sustainable pest control methods to the public. Information from the training program and case studies from the demonstration sites are available at a website for downloading by professionals and by the public.

    Project objectives:

    • To develop the capacity of University of Hawaii CES and Hawai`i NRCS personnel, and other agricultural professionals to understand and promote successful sustainable pest control methods for the tropics that reduce the use and dependency on toxic agricultural chemicals.

      To develop training for agency personnel and agricultural professionals in this topic area based on a participatory-learning model.

      To stimulate hands-on education events for farmers and other members of the agricultural community to be organized and led by those trained in sustainable pest control.

      To expand the scope of the sustainable pest control training module to reach personnel and agricultural professionals in the Pacific via an interactive video teleconference.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.