For centuries traditional farmers have kept pest damage within acceptable levels by employing a wide variety of cultural practices based on local lore and resources. One such practice is the use of polycultures. Factors involved in pest regulation in polycultures include: increased parasitoid/predator populations, available alternative prey /hosts for natural enemies, decreased colonization and reproduction of pests, feeding inhibition or repellency from non-host plants and prevention of movement and emigration. These elements of natural pest conttol built into small farming systems should be examined, so that the valuable ones are retained in the course of agricultural modernization. Thus, traditional knowledge must be considered to guide changes and attain optimum yields in regions with low-input agriculture. All development approaches should be village-based, with emphasis on self-sufficiency, use of local resources and indigenous agricultural regimes.


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