Anamika Sharma, Ph.D.
A sustainable agricultural system might make the economies of creating international locations extra secure and self-dependent, and augmentative organic management supplies such a chance. The intention of augmentative organic management is to handle a crop pest via inoculation and inundation of organic management brokers, or pure enemies of the pest. These can embrace predator or parasitoid bugs or microbial organisms. A targeted effort and funding to boost the industrial manufacturing of biocontrol brokers can enhance the human and institutional capability of creating international locations.
The institution of augmentative organic management requires in depth dissemination of applicable data and capability constructing. One of the main priorities of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management—positioned at Virginia Tech’s Center for International Research, Education, and Development and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development—is enhancing the human and institutional capability of its host international locations in Africa and Asia.
Muni Muniappan, Ph.D., director of IPM Innovation Lab, says there’s a normal misperception amongst scientists that the manufacturing and augmentative launch of pure enemies is unfeasible and never cost-effective, particularly in creating international locations.
“This is because usually the cost of production of natural enemies (parasitoids, predators, and microbials) in the laboratories is compared to the cost of available synthetic chemical pesticides,” he says. “However, the establishment of the production units in developing countries builds the human and institutional capacity of the country, and all the money spent on production and use of the natural enemies remain in the country, which in turn makes the food production sustainable and economical. Moreover, about 80 percent of the amount spent on chemical pesticides in developing countries goes to the developed country that produces the chemical, and only a small amount of money stays in the developing countries applying them.”
Augmentative Biological Control in the Realm of Pest Management
The three main forms of organic management are classical, conservation, and augmentative. Classical organic management (additionally recognized as inoculation of an unique pure enemy) entails importing a pure enemy of a pest to the infested area and dealing to ascertain a sustained native inhabitants. Conservation organic management focuses on sustaining situations favorable to native pure enemies. Augmentative organic management entails mass rearing of pure enemies and actively releasing or dispersing them to regulate a pest.
Each method has its limitations and strengths. For occasion, whereas classical organic management requires longer implementation durations and supplies lasting management of a pest, augmentative approaches are comparatively faster and might management focused nuisance organisms (insect pests, illnesses, weeds) for an prolonged interval however definitely not completely.
In Niger, farmers are offered gunny sacks with grains, rice moth (Corcyra cephalonica) larvae, and two pairs of the parasitoid wasp Habrobracon hebetor in them. This low-cost course of allows farmers to launch the parasitoids simply and economically. A bucket is often used to keep away from the sack getting drenched in the course of the wet season.
Within augmentative organic management, an inoculative method makes use of solely residing organisms (biocontrol brokers), together with predators, parasites, and microbials (fungus, micro organism, nematodes, and virus), whereas an inundative method makes use of residing organisms in addition to non-living parts extracted from residing organisms equivalent to neem merchandise, pyrethrins, and Bacillus thuringiensis. The non-living parts which might be extracted from residing organisms are often known as biologically based mostly pesticides and performance by inundating the system. Currently, extremely potent artificial biochemical pesticides are additionally accessible in the market, equivalent to pyrethroids. Since artificial biochemical and chemical pesticides additionally require a repetitive software, subsequently they can be recognized as an inundative augmentative method.
The categorizations for all these completely different approaches might overlap in completely different ecosystems and circumstances. For occasion, Pediobius foveolatus, an launched parasitoid of the Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis) in the northeastern United States, doesn’t overwinter and therefore doesn’t present everlasting administration. It is launched each summer time in the crop fields as a supply of “inoculative augmentation,” a mixture of classical and augmentative types of organic management.
Augmentative Biological Control in Action
Numerous examples all through historical past give proof to the success, sustainability, and viability of organic management in a wide range of ecosystems. For only one instance, the papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus), is a local of Mexico and feeds on a number of crops equivalent to papaya, cassava, and mulberry, inflicting substantial harm to those crops across the globe. Endoparasitoid wasps Acerophagus papayae, Anagyrus loecki, and Pseudleptomastix mexicana have single-handedly managed this pest wherever they’re launched, together with in Africa and Asia.
Meanwhile, launch of the native parasitoid Habrobracon hebetor on the onset of summer time in the Sahelian area of Africa, coinciding with the emergence of the pearl millet head miner Helicochilus albipunctella, is an instance of inoculative organic management. Malick Niango Ba, Ph.D., principal scientist on the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Niger, discovered this method immensely efficient in managing H. albipunctella populations.
“When you have natural enemies that are easy to multiply in mass at a cheap cost, augmentative biological control is easy to implement,” says Ba. “It works well in settings with functional infrastructure and enabling policies (incentives for biological control and reduced use of chemical pesticides). One of the challenges we faced in West Africa was how to pass on the technology to the private sector. We overcame that by working with farmer cooperatives to enable them to produce the natural enemies and sell them to fellow farmers. This requires a lot of capacity building and engagement from farmers.”
Trichogramma is a genus of tiny polyphagous wasps, measuring about 0.3 millimeters in size, and are endoparasitoids of insect eggs. Several species of Trichogramma are employed as organic management brokers as a part of an inundative method and have managed key lepidopteran pests of a number of crops worldwide.
While sharing successful story of inundative method utilizing Trichogramma, Chandish R. Ballal, Ph.D., former director, of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, talked about that an inundative method utilizing Trichogramma for administration of rice pests in India resulted in substantial financial savings in plant safety prices and restoration of rice biodiversity.
In Tanzania, a girl collects parasitoids with an aspirator from a regionally constructed, low-cost container.
In Nigher, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management ensures coaching of members from completely different international locations in mass-rearing and launch of pure enemies.
In Kenya, parasitoid Trichogramma wasps are launched through playing cards containing as much as 20,000 eggs. The playing cards are positioned in maize fields to handle fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda).
The parasitoid wasp Habrobracon hebetor is mass-reared in lab cages in Niger for launch through augmentative organic management of pests such because the rice moth (Corcyra cephalonica) or the pearl millet head miner Helicochilus albipunctella.
“Rice crop in wetlands or Kole lands of Kerala state in India were earlier subject to as many as six rounds of chemical pesticide sprays during a crop season,” she says, “leading to significant deleterious effects on the ecosystem and biodiversity, as the wetlands are interspersed by a network of canals, besides being home to a large number of migratory birds. Two egg parasitoids, Trichogramma japonicum, and T. chilonis, for managing stem borer and leaf roller infestations were promoted by the local department of agriculture. This intervention was so successful that not a single spray of insecticide was required in rice during the entire season.”
When the effectiveness and advantages of augmentative organic management (each inoculative and inundative) are in contrast with typical chemical pesticides, security and sustainability are at all times emphasised. Nevertheless, essential points—together with efficacy, ease of software, and availability and viability of the commercially accessible organisms/merchandise—are required to develop an economically viable augmentative biocontrol program. Similar to artificial chemical pesticides, a profitable augmentative biocontrol program requires well timed launch/software and repetitive use. For the aim of ease of software, like chemical pesticides, each microbial and botanical organic management brokers are presently accessible in numerous varieties, equivalent to flowable concentrates or wettable powders.
Challenges and Opportunities in Augmentative Biological Control
T. M. Manjunath, Ph.D., who established India’s first industrial insectary, says “mass production, supply, and utilization of parasitoids and predators are beset with several challenges. Being living entities, they have definite life cycles and shelf-life, and their productions require a great deal of pre-planning to match and balance the timely demand, as otherwise the valuable products may go waste.” Based on his lengthy expertise, he says, “mass-production and marketing of biological control agents should be treated as a passionate scientific adventure. Although the entire process could be challenging to initiate and function, careful training and promotion could lead to profitable commercial production of biological control agents in developing countries.”
Big challenges usually create massive alternatives. Commercial manufacturing of biocontrol brokers has immense progress potential. Collaboration of private and non-private sectors and involvement of small-scale industries is the important thing to the profitable commercialization of organic management brokers in creating international locations. Currently, chemical pesticides are probably the most generally used technique all over the world to handle pests due to the speedy outcomes and straightforward availability; nevertheless, they carry a breadth of well being and environmental hazards. Moreover, chemical pesticides additionally want repeated purposes much like inundative organic management brokers, and, in contrast to artificial chemical strategies, using pure enemies is suitable with all different pest management strategies and doesn’t create resistance in pest populations.
The institution of manufacturing and rearing items of organic management brokers in creating international locations allow native technicians and scientists to be skilled, making institutes and universities of those international locations outfitted with applicable expertise and services. Production of the useful fungus Trichoderma spp., which is used as a seed therapy to guard crops from soil-inhabiting fungal pathogens, and mass rearing and releasing Trichogramma spp. for management of pestiferous species of Lepidoptera (for instance, Spodoptera spp.,) are examples of a number of the IPM Innovation Lab’s simplest capacity-building applications.
Appropriate scaling and pricing in addition to lively networks of communication amongst companies, analysis establishments, authorities extension brokers, farmer organizations, and farmers can all enhance the possibilities of success of this enterprise. Augmentative organic management creates alternatives for the native inhabitants, small- and large-scale farmers, and industries to work collectively and harvest financial advantages, apart from human and environmental security. It is certainly cash properly spent.
Anamika Sharma, Ph.D., is a analysis affiliate on the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, housed at Virginia Tech’s Center for International Research, Education, and Development. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images courtesy of Anamika Sharma, Ph.D., Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, except in any other case famous.