Climate variability due to climate change is creating an environment conducive to the spread of pests and diseases in coffee plantations. In response, under the Sustainable Development Model for Peruvian Coffee  project, a training process was conducted in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in coffee producing areas of the country.
The workshops were held on February 23rd in San Ignacio. On the 25th and 26th of the same month coffee producers were trained in Jaen, and on February 29th and March 1st in Quillabamba. The training cycle ended with a two-day event (3rd and 4th March) in Pichanaki.
Integrated Pest and Disease Management is a strategy that uses a variety of complementary methods for pest control, including physical, mechanical, chemical, biological, genetic, legal and cultural methods or actions.
The IPM workshop that was held in Quillabamba on March 1st began with how to recognize the different coffee pests. The workshop was led by Hector Rivero, who facilitated the learning process using a participatory teaching style.
During the workshop, participants went to the coffee plantation to collect different pest samples. They were taught how to determine when a pest that is always present in the coffee plantation begins to cause damage at a threshold that requires it being controlled. To do this, the level of pests in the coffee plantation must be assessed, so the participants were taught how to measure a sampling of pests in the coffee plantation. With changing weather and environmental conditions (including climate change) it is important to recognize, in time, when an existing pest in the coffee plantation becomes a harmful pest, in order to react before it causes damage and is out of control.
The soil condition is also very important in this process. A coffee plantation on degraded soil is more susceptible to pests than on soil that is well fertilized with sufficient organic matter. The coffee plantation is a holistic system and all the elements are interrelated. The genetic material and the level of management of the coffee plantation are also related. In this way, there is a link to the other workshops being carried out in the project on soil management and good agricultural practices..
The emphasis of the workshop was on the prevention of pests and diseases. Prevention goes before pest control, and should be implemented before the pest becomes harmful. Some cultural practices should always be done as a preventive measure (such as gathering the left-over coffee berries after harvest to prevent coffee berry borer (CBB) infestation).
When preventive practices do not work, mechanical, cultural, and biological pest control practices can be implemented. In Integrated Pest Management, mechanical, physical, biological, etc. prevention and control practices are implemented before resorting to chemical control. Control measures were taught for each pest or disease. The participants learned that some chemical controls are also allowed for organic production (such as Bordeaux, Visosa and lime sulfur mixtures).
There was also a practical lesson on how to prepare fungus for biological control (i.e. Beauveria bassiana against CBB) and mixtures and emphasizing the use of protective clothing for the person applying the products.
This workshop prepares participants (technicians and promoters) to recognize pests in coffee plantations on time, and how to control harmful pests with a range of (physical, biological, mechanical, etc.) actions before resorting to chemical control. Thus farmers are better prepared to recognize when a pest becomes a problem and how to control it from the start.
Changing conditions (climate change, for example) require a constant evaluation of pests in coffee plantations, as they adapt to the conditions, to provide a timely response and prevent further damage.