The use of indigenous ecological resources for pest control in Africa
David Grzywacz of the Natural Resource Institute (University of Greenwich, UK) and colleagues investigated two examples of crop protection practices in Africa that harness locally available biological resources. The researchers examined the use of the pesticidal plant Tephrosia vogelii, and the harvesting of the endemic insect virus Spodoptera exempta (SpexNPV). Both of these can be produced locally and have shown promise in trials as inexpensive and effective tools for pest control. Their use is currently being scaled up and evaluated by researchers on the continent. This focus on these unconventional crop protection systems illustrates the need to explore further the potential of locally-available natural resources to replace expensive imported agricultural inputs. The authors of the paper argue that the countries’ regulatory environment must evolve to facilitate the registration of new products and the establishment of supply chains that benefit the local producers and help them improve upon the production methods.
(Food Security, 02/2014)
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