New approach to Integrated Pest Management research with and for horticulture. A vision from and beyond economics

J.S. Buurma*, N.J.A. van der Velden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The main problem addressed in this paper is the low adoption rate of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) knowledge into practice. Many IPM research leaders believe this low adoption rate is due to bottlenecks in knowledge supply. Consequently, they have asked for research, education and extension efforts that will lead to more widespread use of flexible, locally adapted and practical IPM. In our opinion, however, the bottleneck is a lack of attention for the motivations and framework conditions of the end-users. Therefore, in this paper we shift the focus from technology push to market pull. This paper is based on interviews with Dutch greenhouse growers about the adoption of a new cultivation concept and on export data of tomatoes and apples from Eurostat's Comext database. The two data sources were combined to get understanding of the interactions between entrepreneur types, economic drivers and adoption of new IPM methods. The motivations of the greenhouse growers were captured in mind maps. The export data were analysed for differences between market segments. The main motivations of the growers for adopting innovations such as IPM were getting access to high market segments and achieving better crop growth and lower crop losses. Thus, the challenge for IPM research is integrating tasteful cultivars and product types, advanced agronomy, adequate crop management, attractive packaging and low pesticide residue levels in an inclusive product concept (e.g. residue-free snack tomatoes in a transparent plastic cup). This can be achieved by capturing innovative production strategies from market-oriented entrepreneurs, further developing these strategies in . in-situ experiments with input suppliers, crop-oriented entrepreneurs and advisers, and co-creating guidelines for integrated production strategies with these partners for both crop-oriented and costs-oriented entrepreneurs. The costs-oriented interviewees often had financial problems and/or plans to sell their business. Consequently, knowledge investments in this specific subgroup will, in many cases, not lead to adoption of new crop protection solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
JournalCrop Protection
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Adoption
  • Fruit
  • Market pull
  • Product concepts
  • Sociology
  • Vegetables

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