Hostname: page-component-594f858ff7-hd6rl Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-08T00:46:23.616Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "corePageComponentUseShareaholicInsteadOfAddThis": true, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Insect pests and postharvest problems in the tropics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2011

C. P. F. de Lima
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P.O. Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya
Get access


Tropical environments provide optimum conditions for insect growth and multiplication in the ideal medium of food stored by humans. Some insects begin infestation in the field and continue attack in storage. Other species diapause and remain in cracks and crevices in granaries or feed on grain residues while awaiting the new harvest. Since most of the tropical produce is for subsistence, the losses resulting from severe insect attack contribute to malnutrition and famine. In central stores and warehouses commodity management is poor and large amounts are lost to insects. In countries where heavy insecticide and fumigant pressure is maintained to preserve food stocks, insects rapidly build up resistance. The solutions for the future are to reduce dependence on pesticides and utilize in an integrated way the cultural, biological and physical techniques developed in recent years for safer storage and the successful preservation of strategic reserves for food security.


L'environnement tropical offre des conditions optimales à la croissance et à la prolifération des insectes dans le milieu idéal que constituent les produits alimentaires emmagasinés. Certains insectes commencent leur infestation dans les champs et se multiplient après la récolte. D'autres espèces entrent en diapause et subsistent dans les fissures et les crevasses des greniers, ou se nourrissent des résidus des graines dans l'attente des nouvelles récoltes. Comme sous les tropiques la production alimentaire est surtout une production de subsistance, les pertes dues à la prolifération des insectes accroissent la malnutrition et les risques de famine. Même dans les silos et les entrepôts centralisés, les denrées sont mal conservées et les pertes dues aux insectes peuvent être considérables. Dans les pays où la consommation d'insecticides et de fumigante est élevée, les insectes acquièrent rapidement une résistance. Pour l'avenir, les solutions consistent à moins dépendre des insecticides et à utiliser de façon intégrée les techniques culturales, biologiques et physiques élaborées ces dernières années pour assurer une meilleure conservation et un meilleur stockage des réserves, qui sont essentielles à la sécurité alimentaire.

Symposium VI: Economie Impact of Insects in the Tropics
Copyright © ICIPE 1987

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Anony (1978) Board of Science and Technology for International Development: Commission on International Relations, National Research Council. Post-harvest Food Losses in Developing Countries, 206 pp. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google ScholarPubMed
De Lima, C. P. F. (1974) The conduct of field infestation surveys and the economic use of their results. Proc. 1st Int. Working Conf. Stored Prod. Ent., Savannah, U.S.A., p. 4760.Google Scholar
De Lima, C. P. F. (1979) The assessment of losses due to insects and rodents in maize stored for subsistence in Kenya. Trop. Stored. Prod. Inf. 38, 2126.Google Scholar
De Lima, C. P. F. (1981) Africa: Assessment and Control of Losses in Stored Food. SPAN 24, 104107.Google Scholar
Hall, D. W. (1970) Handling and Storage of Food Grains in Tropical and Sub-tropical Areas. Agricultural Development Paper No. 90. FAO, Rome.Google Scholar