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Biological control in the tropics: present opportunities and future prospects

Biological control in the tropics: present opportunities and future prospects

Insect Science and its Application 12(1-3): 3-8

Progress in the adoption of biological control in the 100 years since the introduction of the vedalia beetle into California is reviewed briefly as a background to examining current trends, especially in tropical countries. Recent successful classical biological control programmes have increased interest in applying biological control to other major pest problems as has increasing public appreciation of the dangers of over-reliance on chemical pesticides. Consequently, there is an unprecedented opportunity for greater use of biological control. However, the opportunities for classical biological control are limited and greater attention to other biological control techniques is necessary, especially the development of pathogens as biopesticides and techniques to increase the impact of native natural enemies. Biological control is not a panacea and can seldom be effective on its own. It must, therefore, be integrated with other pest control techniques in integrated management programmes. International collaboration is required to increase awareness of these opportunities, facilitate the procurement of biotic agents and generally to promote the adoption of biologically sound sustainable pest and vector management procedures. Support for biological control should include training of personnel who will be involved in decision-making and in implementing control. Practitioners must be prepared to promote the use of biological control by farmers, and also address legitimate public concerns about the safety of biological control so as to ensure continuing public support and appropriate regulatory procedures.

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Accession: 002037303

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DOI: 10.1017/s1742758400020464

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