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This work reports the results of a seven-year-long research programme that examined the best way to reduce pesticide use among low-income farmers in developing countries, while improving the effectiveness of the products, and safety practices. The study was sponsored by the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development. Its aim was to investigate how to reduce crop losses, while minimizing pest resistance in plants and harmful side effects to human health and the environment. India, Mexico and Zimbabwe were chosen as the three project countries, as they are similar in economic development, but have widely disparate sociocultural environments and agricultural practices.