Crop yield heavily depends, both in quantity and in quality, on arthropod pest, disease and weed incidence. Many references report losses of potential yield from 25 to 50 %. To decrease these losses, using economically feasible, technically efficient, ecologically sound and socially acceptable methods, is the aim of Integrated Pest Management. Agriculture needs, then, crop protection specialists with the necessary technical and theoretical skills for employment within the modern crop protection industry, or within academia.
Pesticides are still the main tool used in Crop Protection, even in the most developed countries.It is well know that the indiscriminate use of pesticides is, jointly with fertilizers, the most important source of chemical pollution in agriculture. As a consequence, the decrease and rationalization of their use, and the development of other control methods are among the main objectives of the national and international research funding agencies.