CABI showcases the benefits of using biopesticides in Brazil with the CABI BioProtection Portal during a special Bioprotection Day conference held virtually in collaboration with Embrapa Soja the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation. The CABI BioProtection Portal is currently available in 16 countries including Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
Biopesticides in Brazil: a sustainable solution to smallholder farmer challenges
The event, held free on the CBSoja GoLive, focussed on the theme of bioinputs as part of an overall exploration of how more environmentally-friendly and sustainable biological controls can mitigate the challenges posed to millions of smallholder famers whose crops are threatened by pests and diseases.
Developing biological controls for crop pests and diseases
Adeney Bueno, a researcher and international coordinator at Embrapa Soja, said Bioprotection Day was an opportunity to strengthen its relationship with CABI and widen both organization’s networks in the field of the biological control of crop pests and diseases such as the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (TR4) that causes Panama disease of banana, tomato leafminer (Phthorimaea absoluta) and tomato borer – Neoleucinodes elegantalis (Lepidoptera: NNNN).
Other species, recently highlighted by Dr Yelitza Colmenarez, CABI’s Centre Director, Brazil, at a conference of the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum (CPHD) aimed at strengthening food security in the region and further afield, include swollen shoot virus (CSSV) in cocoa which is transmitted by Planococcoides njalensis, coffee berry disease (Colletotrichum kahawae) and Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii in corn.
Enabling growers and agricultural advisors to find biocontrol and biopesticide products in Brazil
Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director, Global Operations, spoke about the benefits of the CABI BioProtection Portal which include enabling growers and agricultural advisors to identify, source and correctly apply biocontrol and biopesticide products against problematic pests in farmers’ crops.
“It is a valuable asset in the armoury of integrated pest management plans, is available on multiple devices and as such provides key information at the fingertips of anyone who needs it,” Dr Kuhlmann said.
Dr Kuhlmann’s presentation followed a talk by Professor José Roberto Postali Parra, of ESALQ-University of Sao Paulo, on the history of biological pest control in Brazil and preceded a speech by researcher Claudine Dinali Santos Seixas on the experiences of Embrapa Soja.
Exploring the role of the biological control industry in Brazil
Other presentations included those by Dr Germán Vargas, President of the International Organization for Biological Control – Neotropical Regional Section (IOBC/NTRS), concerning biological control and the importance of technology transfer for its adoption.
Another theme explored was the role of the biological control industry in Brazil by the director of biological products at CropLife Brasil, Amália Cristina Piazentim Borsari. The event also highlighted experiential testimonies from biocontrol companies including Carlos Muñoz Alarcón, from Bio Insumos Nativa, and Ricardo Machado, from Koppert.