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INTAD Student Provides Technical Assistance to Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute

Posted: December 4, 2017

Megan Wilkerson is meeting with a Lebanese tomato farmer to discuss disease management strategies

Megan Wilkerson is meeting with a Lebanese tomato farmer to discuss disease management strategies

INTAD student Megan Wilkerson, partnered with USAID to provide technical assistance in disease and insect management for agricultural crops to Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute.

While in Lebanon, Wilkerson collaborated with the Lebanese ministry of agriculture, Land O’Lakes-Beirut, agriculture engineers and several small farmers to identify insect-related diseases and provide expert pest management recommendations to the Farmer to Farmer Program (F2F).

According to Wilkerson, “despite the destructive nature of pests, the majority of diseases can potentially be managed with a rotation of diverse active ingredients, monitoring of pest populations and proper timing of chemical application with proper personal protective equipment. By applying the above strategies and specifically targeting detrimental insects that maintain disease, yields will improve since beneficial insect populations, like pollinators and natural predators, are allowed to recover.”

Skills provided by the INTAD program along with her international experience, afforded Wilkerson the opportunity to partner with government agencies to assess diseases and pest damage, provide on-site technical assistance and conduct presentations at technical workshops illustrating the pest and disease constraints faced by the farmers in the region with the management techniques for the major insects and diseases affecting the crops in Lebanon.