Total dependence on chemical control may lead to the development of resistance to insecticides, outbreaks of secondary pests and the problem of residues in the food and fodder. Thus, there is increased focus on integrated pest management (IPM) as the preferred method of pest control. Indeed, these methods seem to be the only viable long-term alternative options for combating certain pests such as the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella. Consequently, considerable efforts are being focused on further improving the existing IPM strategies.
The majority of the papers in this issue deal with IPM, for staples such as rice, for horticultural crops such as tomatoes, crucifers and mango, and also for a popular grain legume. The biological control component of IPM is often a major focus in these studies, whether it is conservation biological control (functional biodiversity and ecological engineering) or classical biological control. In addition, the use of semiochemicals through the use of male lures for trapping, or host plant resistance, cultural control and botanical insecticides are essential parts of IPM systems in the studies. The papers provide useful information to researchers and policy makers on the management of key pests. Some studies verify hypotheses that pests of rice and crucifers develop throughout the year, even in the absence of their respective cultivated host plants. Others provide an insight on the suitability of the indigenous protection practices already in force, especially in the rice production systems. The latter study should prove useful in augmenting the work to attain the much needed food security, the number one goal in the improvement efforts in rice, which has led to the awarding of the 2004 World Food Prize to the scientist behind the New Rice for Africa (NERICA).
One study covers the taxonomic identity of members of the Simulium damnosum Theobold (complex) in Ethiopia. It describes the two populations revealed recently and provides chromosomal maps for future reference. Such studies provide important information, such as pest status and distribution by country.
It has been a pleasure serving on the board and helping to screen, select and edit papers supporting judicious methods of pest control and related studies. On behalf of the other board members of our journal, I invite you to send more such papers for publication in 2008. I would like to thank all of you, and especially our dedicated team of reviewers.
We would also like to notify future contributors to the journal that IJT no longer requires them to submit hard copies of their papers in addition to sending the electronic versions. Future contributors are also informed that the use of the LSD test for mean separation is no longer recommended by the journal. Future contributors are advised to use more advanced means tests.
Last but not least, we wish to welcome a new Editorial Board member, Dr Adenirin Chabi-Olaye of icipe. He brings a wealth of experience to the journal and I am sure we will continue to benefit from his expert direction in ecology, biological control and IPM as well as in advanced statistical matters.