Biological Control: Industrial Perspective and Policy Issues

         Biological control research is gaining increasing attention due to serious hazard associated with indiscriminate use of pesticides. It has become an integral part of organic farming for sustainable yield and reduction in cost of cultivation. Historically the field performance of biocontrol agents has often been unpredictable and too variable when used on large-scale. Although the number of registered biocontrol agents has increased, only a small proportion of parasitoids, predators and entomopathogens are evaluated at farmer's field to make a successful transition from the laboratory to the field. The slow growth of biological control is due to lack of knowledge of the biological control system, timely availability and difficulty in obtaining quality formulations. Quality formulations are the key to commercial success of biocontrol agents. The hand holding of both public and private sectors is necessary to facilitate the promotion of biological control through timely production. There is also need to legislate and take government bodies on board to promote biocontrol agents throughout world. Public policy and monetary support needs to change in order to make biological control a primary control method in agriculture rather than an alternative and use of pesticides should be last frontier.

Lead talk on “Access and Benefit Sharing and Biological Control - Dr Barbara Barratt, Secretary General IOBC-APRS & Honorary Professor, Department of Botany, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand"