Pesticide Management Specialist
Agriculture Health and Environment Department
Natural Resources Institute
Following a two year apprenticeship in Horticulture, working for a local authority in the North of England, I studied for A levels before being accepted at the University of Reading to study Horticultural Science.
After successful completion of the BSc at Reading I worked as a horticulturalist in Swaziland for two years. During this period in which I was accompanied by my wife, who taught agriculture in a secondary school, I developed a new irrigation scheme. This included supervision of the construction and management of the scheme. It also involved training farmers who were new horticulture, and introducing subjects such as propagation, soil sterilisation, seedbed culture and some marketing of produce.
After the two years in Africa I completed a course at Salford University on Environmental Resources while my wife supported us as a teacher in Manchester. I then applied for a position with the Centre for Overseas Pest Research, which at that time was part of the UK Government Overseas Development Administration. This continued the theme of overseas agricultural work, started in Swaziland and which has been the basis of my career over the past 36 years.
During the period the organisation evolved until it eventually became a part of the University of Greenwich. My own role has also evolved significantly, and over the long span of employment I have carried out research on control of many pests, including locusts, quelea, armyworm, tsetse fly and a range of horticultural weeds, diseases and insects. Safe use of pesticides has been a continuing theme, and has involved a host of research, training and consultancy. This has been carried out in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.
The interest in pesticides and a long practical experience led to my development and supervision of an MSc course module on pesticides and pest management which continues to be in demand.
An interest in residues in food led me to become more involved with food safety and market compliance, and this has been a feature of the past fifteen years, although continuing to maintain an interest in the agronomy of a wide range of largely tropical crops including cotton, banana, pineapple, avocado, cassava, mango, passion fruit and many vegetable crops.
The pesticide and pest management theme has led to several publications, see below.
Research on control of pests such as armyworm, locusts, cotton leafworm, tsetse fly and a range of vegetable pests such as diamondback moth formed the theme of my early work, and was carried out in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, India and many other countries over many years. My interest in training led to publication of a series of books, calendars and posters aimed at transferring information on pest control to farmers and growers. There were also academic articles in peer-reviewed journals during the period when I was more research active.
More recently, training and consultancy work has taken over and now forms the core of my career. Recent clients have included COLEACP, funded by the EU, The Government of Rwanda, funded by German aid, World health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UK Department for International Development.
My career is still evolving and is more and more geared towards use of trade in produce as a means of generating income and foreign exchange for countries that wish to capitalise on their natural resources to promote beneficial development.
Current and Previous Funded Research Projects
Agrifood Standards - Ensuring Compliance Increases Trade for Developing Countries (Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and other countries in Africa) increasing their capacity for full participation in public and private trade (2008 to present)
SPS issues for Stakeholders associated with the export industry (Uganda, Kenya, Ghana) Training service providers, helping compliance with standards, working with export companies (2004 to present)
- Bennett, Ben, Cooper, Jerry and Dobson, Hans (2010) We know where the shoe pinches:1 A case studybased analysis of the social benefits of pesticides. Outlook on Agriculture, 39 (2). pp. 79-87. ISSN 0030 7270 (doi:10.5367/000000010791745420) Item not available online.
- Cooper, Jerry and Dobson, Hans (2007) The benefits of pesticides to mankind and the environment. Crop Protection, 26 (9). pp. 1337-1348. ISSN 0261-2194 (doi:10.1016/j.cropro.2007.03.022) Item not available online.
- Smith, D.N., Cooper, J.F. (1997) Control of powdery mildew on cashew in Tanzania using sulphur dust - an audit of sulphur fate and a proposal for a new dusting strategy. Crop Protection Vol. 16
- Book: Integrated pest management: Safe and sustainable protection of small-scale brassicas and tomatoes A handbook for extension staff and trainers in Zimbabwe. ISBN: 0-85954-536-9 Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich Authors: Hans Dobson, Jerry Cooper, Walter Manyangarirwa, Joshua Karuma, Wilfred Chiimba (2002)
- Passion Fruit and Avocado Production Protocols. (2002) Cooper et al (an EU compliant agricultural manual for growers who sell passion fruit in Europe).
Calendar of Integrated Pest Management 2006.
- A Pocket Book of Integrated Pest Management for Vegetable Growers (2005) ISBN:0 85954 572 5
Recent Conference Presentations
- Legislative provisions, SPS issues. Adapting to international pesticide residue standards, with reference to cocoa. ICCO workshop Abidjan, December 2013.
Natural Resources Institute
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1634 883729