In March 2012, The West African regional workshop facilitated by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) marked the very first registered commercial biological pesticide. NRI and its collaborators initiated a long-term research on safe and effective biological pesticides, which was funded by the Research Into Use (RIU) program of the Department for International Development (DFID). This event only proved that cost-effective and organic pest control solutions are now gaining momentum in agricultural applications.
The country members of the European Union are among the pioneers in developing biological pest control management in Asia. This is understandable as high proportion of its member country’s organic produce is imported. According to the International Trade Center (ITC), 40 percent of the European countries’ organic food is imported from the third country list of the developing countries in the Southeast Asia region.
In over ten years, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has sponsored organic farming training programs in several developing countries in Southeast Asia. Thailand and its neighboring countries received programs for training farmers, trainers and consultants with certification for accomplishing all the standard requirements in the applications of new biological approaches to pest control. As part of the organic value chain promotion, the said programs were focused in increasing yield through the use of organic farming and pest control measures. This way, some select Asian countries may earn organic farming certification, which can help them connect to the flourishing domestic and export markets of organic produce.
Biological pest control or the use of natural predators in controlling and eliminating the population of a variety of insect pests has gained the interest of most of the progressive agricultural countries in the Southeast Asia region. In augmenting the use of natural pest enemies, farmers were introduced a new and chemical-free approach in pest management that does not require regular or periodic investment.
Apparently, the Southeast Asia region has secured an available source of large numbers of natural enemies. Biological pest management companies have started building ‘insectaries’ to produce a variety of predatory insects such as lady beetles and preying mantis. In line with this, the biological pest control companies have already developed microbial insecticides, which deliver insect pathogens to target parasitic insects.
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