CropPest DSS

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Agriculture in India is a gamble with weather. Pest associated crop losses are higher in the tropics and about 20-40% of the world's crop production is lost annually because of weeds, pests and diseases (FAO). There are additional costs in the form of pesticides applied for pest control. Knowledge and information is the key to correct pest management decisions. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a system that emphasizes appropriate decision-making, depends heavily on intensive, accurate and timely information for field implementation by practitioners. Pest forecast are an important component of the broad IPM philosophy. Forewarning models provide lead time for managing impending pest attacks and thus minimize crop loss and optimize pest control leading to reduction in cost of cultivation. A Decision Support System (DSS) integrates a user-friendly front end to often-complex models, knowledge bases, expert systems, and database technologies. DSSs have emerged as essential tools to bridge the gap between science-based technology and end-users who make day-to-day management decisions. An IPM-DSS provides user all necessary information on pest developmental models including sampling, decision making criteria and management options. Such systems are essential to enhance the adoption and spread of IPM in the country.