Types of biological control: augmentative, conservation and classical

Biological control, also called biocontrol or bioprotection, is a method of pest control using other organisms, natural enemies, pathogens, semiochemicals and natural substances. Unlike some other methods of control in agriculture, bioprotection often has little to no side effects.
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Parasitic wasps play pivotal role in Kenya’s papaya mealybug control

Papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) is a devastating papaya pest. It impacts many countries in East and West Africa. Infestations can result in significant economic losses, posing a threat to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. On average, the pest can cause anywhere from 53% to 100% crop losses, costing £2,224 per hectare annually. Its impact on…
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How a tiny wasp can save the livelihoods of papaya farmers

“We have a problem with the attack of mealybugs, which are becoming a menace to the production of papayas. I fight them, but they are also fighting back.” Ben is a farmer in Machakos County, Kenya, east of the nation’s capital, Nairobi.
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Kenyan farmer perceptions of biological control of papaya mealybug

The papaya mealybug problem in Kenya The invasive papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) is a devastating pest to many crops, with a host range of over 200 plants. The species was first detected in Africa in 2010 in Ghana and then in 2016 in Mombasa County in Kenya. In Kenya, where horticulture makes up 60% of…
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Biocontrol agent released to safeguard crops from parthenium weed in Pakistan

Invasive plants can be extremely harmful to crops. “Famine weed” or parthenium is one such plant. Native to tropical America, it was accidentally introduced to several countries. In Pakistan, the weed now covers thousands of hectares of agricultural and rangeland. And it poses an economic burden to farmers.
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Controlling the papaya mealybug pest – progress made in coastal Kenya

An initiative to combat the destructive papaya mealybug in Kenya is reaping rewards. A natural predator – a parasitic wasp – has been introduced to coastal counties to help control the pest. This tiny wasp is helping to prevent the damage caused by the mealybug. It’s not only helping to save papaya farms. It’s safeguarding…
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How can Metarhizium be used to address pests and diseases?

fall armyworm
Sihle Nakombe is a lab technician from CABI’s office in Zambia. She joined CABI in January 2023. Earlier this year, she visited the CABI labs in Egham, UK, to get training on Metarhizium. This naturally occurring fungus can control insect pests with low environmental and human health effects.
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Overcoming gender barriers to tomato farming in Pakistan

Tomato is an important crop in Pakistan – every year, the country produces 4.2 million tonnes of tomatoes. Growing them can be labour intensive. But research shows that tomato production has the potential to generate good incomes for rural smallholders. This includes incomes for women farmers. In Pakistan, women account for over 60% of active…
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Biological pest control – what is it?

Ladybird biological control
This article was originally published on the CABI BioProtection Portal blog. Visit the original blog post here. Biological control (or ‘biocontrol’) is the use of living organisms and naturally sourced (or nature-identical) compounds to control pest and disease populations. The IBMA (International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association) defines biocontrol products as:
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BioProtection Portal benefits showcased at BioProtection Day conference

BioProtection Portal home page
CABI has showcased the benefits of the CABI BioProtection Portal during a special Bioprotection Day conference in Brazil held virtually in collaboration with Embrapa Soja the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation. The CABI BioProtection Portal is a free web-based tool that enables users to discover information about registered biocontrol and biopesticide products around the world and…
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