TODAY -

Importance of biological control in Indian agriculture
- Part 1 -

SM Haldhar, EVD Sastry, M Premjit Singh *



Pest control is an important aspect of agriculture which determines the production and productivity of crops. There are several ways by which the pests and diseases are controlled, of which the use of synthetic pesticides is common as it is cost-effective and results are immediate with the realization of dividends instant, however on the other side, these chemicals are hazardous to human health and dangerous to the environment.

Although, biological control per se has been in use in agriculture for centuries, as an industry biological control is still in its infancy. Biological control is now being advocated for an increasing number of crops and managed ecosystems as the primary method of pest control. One reason for its growing popularity is its record of safety during the past 100 years considered as the era of modern biological control (Waage and Greathead, 1988).

DebBach (1964) defined biological control as the action of parasites, predators, or pathogens in maintaining another organism’s population density at a longer average than would occur in their absence. Biological control depends on knowledge of biological interactions starting at the molecular level to the ecosystem level and is often more complicated to manage compared with physical and chemical methods.

Biological control is also likely to be less spectacular than most physical or chemical controls but is usually also more stable and long-lasting (Baker and Cook, 1974). No microorganism or beneficial insect deliberately introduced or manipulated for biological control purposes has become a pest on its own so far and there is no evidence so far of measurable or even negligible negative effects of biocontrol agents on the environment.

Singh (2004) concluded that in India, the maximum degree of success with biological control agents was achieved in the control of aquatic weeds (55%); hemipteran pests in crop situations (46.7%) followed by terrestrial weeds (23.8%).

McFadyen (2000) listed 44 weeds, which were successfully controlled somewhere in the world using introduced insects and pathogens. Biological control programs have saved millions of dollars and despite the high initial costs, are very cost-effective. The era of modern biological control, involving the deliberate transfer and introduction of natural enemies of insect pests was launched 100 years ago.

NEED FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN INDIA

The production of food grain should increase regularly to meet the needs of the growing population. Beyond good agronomic and horticultural practices, growers often rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

However, the environmental pollution caused by excessive use and misuse of agrochemicals, as well as fear-mongering by some opponents of pesticides, has led to considerable changes in people’s attitudes towards the use of pesticides, has led to considerable changes in people’s attitudes towards the use of pesticides in agriculture. A concomitant increase in the proportion of pests and diseases resulted in the increased use of toxic chemicals for their management.

Excessive use of synthetic pesticides has made pests resistant to these chemicals. The number of species resistant to pesticides and fungicides has increased. In recent years after the signing of the general agreement of trade and tariff of the world trade organization, more emphasis is being given to the use of eco-friendly pesticides for crop production because of their lower toxicity, higher levels of disease resistance and low residue problems.

However, biological controls should be integrated with other control measures because different methods are effective at different times and locations under varying conditions.

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN NORTH-EAST INDIA

In North-East India, there is huge scope of biological control because of congenial environmental condition that favours the biological control agents i.e., RH (>80%), temperature (12-350C), low pH, Rainfall (300-3000 mm) favourable for BCA, wide diversity in terms of species and strains of biocontrol resources i.e. plants, fungi, bacteria, virus, parasitoids, predators and good potential market for biopesticides for large scale cultivation of crops.

The congress grass (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) has been considered as one of the worst weeds responsible for causing health hazards in human beings and animals besides the loss to crop productivity and plant biodiversity. It was first reported in India in 1995 and now occurs throughout the country including North-East India. Parthenium was found to be grown luxuriantly in all the selected National and State Highways of North East India.

The Mexican beetle (Zygogramma Bicolorata) is a host-specific leaf-feeding beetle and proved successful for the control of P. hysterophorus. The beetle was imported by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore from the Mexican substation of Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control (CIBC).

Under the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India’s Twinning R & D Programme on Parthenium management in NER released 35,000 beetles in the N.E. region during 2015. From our field observations, it was observed that Mexican beetles acclimatized in the climatic condition of NE India. Field observation reveals complete invasion of road median flora by Parthenium resulting in complete changeover of the plant biodiversity in the National and State Highways of NE India.

Similarly, successful control of water hyacinth, Eichorniacrassipes has been achieved by the exotic weevil Neochetinaeichhorniae, N. bruchi @ 50,000 ha-1 and found the dispersal of the weevil in 8 districts of Assam through aerial migration and Brahmaputra river and its tributaries. In Sibsagar district of Assam > 700 ha of water body has been cleared off by the action of this exotic weevil and control achieved is about 90%.

Hazarika et at. (1994) reviewed work done on biocontrol especially in North-East India by pointing out lacunae, prospects, and the role of biocontrol in reducing the pesticidal load on tea. Somchoudhury et at. (1995) identified 38 species of predatory mites on the red spider mite in North-East India.

Studies related to spiders as predators of tea pests are scarce; however, Hazarika and Cakraborti(1998) identified 28 species of predatory spiders on mites, jassids, and aphids. They collected these species not only from tea but also from shade trees and ancillary crops. Earlier, Zhang (1993) identified and described species of spiders that prey on tea leafhoppers in China.

SUCCESSFUL STORIES OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN INDIA

Biological control has been defined simply as the utilization of natural enemies to reduce the damage caused by noxious organisms to tolerable levels (DeBach and Rosen, 1991). Biological control i.e., conservation, augmentation, and introduction of exotic natural enemies has been accepted as an effective, environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable method of pest management.

One approach to biological control has been termed “Classical biological control”, it involves the discovery, importation, and establishment of exotic natural enemies with the hope that they will suppress a particular organism’s population.

This approach has been most successful in situations in which an organism moves or has been transported to a new environment, usually without the natural enemies that have regulated its population and prevented major outbreaks. Alien species are recognized as the second-largest threat to biological diversity, the first being habitat destruction. The exotic pests in the absence of their natural antagonists, which they leave in their original home, cause unprecedented damage.

The economic impact of invasive pests is tremendous. Some successful examples of biological control have been described as following under:

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PRICKLY PEAR, OPUNTIA SPP.

Prickly pear cacti, Opuntia spp. (origin: New World) were deliberately introduced into India in conjunction with the cochineal trade. These plants are also known for their edible fruits, drought resistance and emergency forage value of certain spineless forms, as botanical curiosities as well as garden ornamentals.

The first successful classical biological control was achieved in India when cochineal insect, Dactylopiusceylonicus was introduced from Brazil in 1975 in the mistaken belief that it was the true carmine dye producing insect, D. coccus. D. ceylonicus multiplied on cultivated spineless pear cactus, Opuntia ficus (= O. indica). D. ceylonicus later readily established on drooping prickly pear, Opuntia vulgaris (its natural host) in the north and central India bringing about spectacular suppression of O. vulgaris.

Currently D. ceylonicus continues to successfully control O. vulgaris, reducing it from a state of widespread abundance to that of virtual extinction in southern India and northern Sri Lanka and a relatively uncommon weed in the northern parts of India.


To be continued.....


* SM Haldhar, EVD Sastry, M Premjit Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on September 03 2022.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 60th Mr Manipur Bodybuilding #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Poumai Dance :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Khulang Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Medicines that save us from STI
  • Taj Mahal - The white wonder
  • World Soil Day
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Oting killing: Protracted probe imminent
  • How many tourists visited during Sangai Fest
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Aeromycology over Kachai lemon plantation #2
  • Fostering NE-Bangladesh ties through Assam
  • Medical camp at Khongsang
  • Brighten your winter face with pumpkin
  • Stray cattle menace & food self-sufficiency
  • Accusing fingers raised by PAPPM
  • Sangai Fest: Sayol Sangai Chatkoi :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #5: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • The unseen masks men put on
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #4
  • Christmas Carol Competition at Leimakhong
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Chiru Dance :: Gallery
  • Sports sees no gender, Sports has no gender
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • RFYC Naupang League in Mizoram
  • MPSC is going ahead of UPSC
  • Session on Meditation & Mental Health
  • Challenges stacked up for Manipuri women
  • Antagonists of ST demand for Meiteis
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 10: Crowd scene :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Will Thailand lead in antimicrobial resistance
  • Webninar @NEHU : India-Japan Relations
  • Keeping up with time :: Poem
  • World AIDS Day 2022 at Tamenglong
  • Doctor-Govt stalemate, public in peril
  • Progress of the Naga peace talk
  • Sangai Day 9: Dancing Drummers :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Aimol Dance :: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • A flight of the Hornbill
  • Working with children as career
  • Stable situation essential for attracting tourist
  • Selling Manipur to outside world
  • Sangai Day 8: Shumang Leela :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Kom Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Innocence :: Poem
  • Foreign Secy's Myanmar visit ... Naga peace
  • Cancellation of residential proof certs
  • Derelict teachers threat to govt schools
  • Many questions, but no answers
  • Sangai Day 8: Food Stall #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 7: Vaiphei Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st & 2nd session of 12th Manipur Assembly
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #3
  • IFFI means to upscale to Manipuri Cinema
  • Continuous bid to save endangered ponies
  • Arguments over ST : Meiteis are indigenes
  • Sangai Day 6: Elowe: Dzuko Valley :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Khunung Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Alligator weed: Indigenous fodder resource
  • Two lives :: Poem
  • People don't actually care !!
  • The beauty in tea
  • Healthy response to Sangai Fest
  • Lessons from Japanese fans at WC
  • Sangai Day 5: Fashion parade :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thangal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Masterclasses add value to 53rd IFFI at Goa
  • 7th Charuangc 2022 : Rongmei of Delhi-NCR
  • Miss India from Manipur
  • Startup Innovation Conclave 1.0
  • National Constitution Day at Lilong
  • Sangai Day 4: 3 Types Of Drums :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Chothe Dance :: Gallery
  • Involuntary Displacement in Manipur
  • Forgotten feature Film comes alive at IFFI
  • Will we protect medicines that protect us
  • God gives us our daily bread...
  • NPF consultative meeting at Zunheboto
  • Lapses in education laid bare by student
  • Adding a new flavour to War on Drugs
  • Sangai Day 3: Polo International :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tangkhul Dance :: Gallery
  • 1st L. Keivom Memorial Day
  • Eina Khankhiba Natte : Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Eight Meet of Astronomers concluded at MU
  • 'Manipuri films projecting Manipuri culture'
  • Condemn govts of Assam & Meghalaya
  • Corruption-free Manipur resolve under scrutiny
  • Asia at the World Cup
  • Sangai Day 2: Khutpak Chatkoi #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tarao Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Screening of Manipuri films at IFFI
  • Nagaland Govt has no economic policy: NPF
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #2
  • Reinvent Northeast - Dimapur launched
  • Uneasy calm in northeast as border rows rage
  • FIFAWC and Sangai Festival : Splendid recipe
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakouba organized at Pune
  • Free mega health camp at Nagamapal
  • Outlaw glyphosate and its derivatives
  • Creators Meet of Tripura at Agartala
  • No respite from drug and tobacco threats
  • Manipur: Fountainhead of drugs ?
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 1: Opening ceremony :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Copa Manipur at Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • South Asia's film market features Manipur
  • ST Demand: Decided by merits; not by poll
  • Ecotoxicology- needed to save living beings
  • 'Look East policy into Act East Policy'
  • Tourism promotional fest litmus test for state
  • Sangai & Pony, the twin face of Manipur
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Activities List
  • The Dream Kangleipak :: Book Review
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 53rd IFFI featuring Manipuri Cinema kicks off
  • World Toilet Day 2022
  • Pulicat Lagoon, Flamingos' haven
  • Amid substance abuse, thrust on open gym
  • FIFA World Cup 2022
  • 1st CM's Sagol Kangjei C'ship :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest as a way to Look East Policy
  • 1st Chief Minister's Sagol Kangjei C'ship
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #1
  • For PM Modi, G20 has come at the right time
  • Rock band Arogya releases latest single
  • Community Ningol Chakouba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Out of the heart comes the issues of life
  • NE Startup Showcase @ Manipur Tech Hub
  • Immortal Gallows :: Poem
  • Workshop on Amrita Meditation at RGU ArP
  • Skin Pigmentation in Winter
  • Influx issue headache for all indigenes
  • Wanted: Visionary leaders :: Follies of past
  • The changing idioms of Manipuri theatre
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • DFC Shillong launched with Model workshop
  • Antimicrobial resistance... to reverse progress
  • 2nd North East Olympic Games closes
  • Unending quota system & National excellence
  • Solar energy can help India achieve net-zero
  • Sangai Festival as launch pad for tourism
  • All eyes on Qatar
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Delegates for IFFI, Goa
  • Intellectual Class- First Line of Defense
  • Who are ST in true spirit of Constitution
  • Journalism is a public good ...
  • Vaccine transported through Drones in ArP
  • Mass tree felling depreciates existence...
  • ST demand : Let Delhi have the say
  • 5th Kwatha Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • This Eleventh Edition of Sangai Festival
  • The garden of Kew #2
  • NE International Fashion Week 2022
  • Housing system for sow & piglets
  • Doctors grieving relentlessly, Govt silent
  • Law catching up after 21 years
  • Leima Jagoi @ Nongshaba #1 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Technology innovation Hub
  • North East BJP Karyakartas Sammelan
  • Supreme Court call for revisit of reservation
  • Rural Immersion Camp at West Kameng
  • World Diabetes Day 2022
  • Undeserving PDS rice beneficiaries
  • Leaving the doors wide open
  • On author, research & publication #3
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • MSAD : newly elected executives for 2022-23
  • 'Trust deficit' in Naga talks
  • Professor Bimola : A Life Fully Lived
  • Love's Twist :: Poem
  • Rani Gaidinliu Training Camp concluded
  • Job for all promise as unemployed rises
  • Presenting Manipur to the world
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #3 :: Gallery
  • Seminar on Role of Women in Sports : Report
  • The great Asian Highway : Tokyo to Istanbul
  • Seminar : Reconstruction of Education
  • 4th National Lok Adalat for the year, 2022
  • Rishi Sunak .. is a pucca English Burra sahib
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Gift presents :: Gallery
  • Conference on Metallomics @ Manipur Univ
  • An awakening sprout in darkness :: Poem
  • Narration from a man who chase mountains
  • Jobs @ JCRE skill solutions, Thangmeiband
  • Masterclass on Social Photography kicks off
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Probe into PMGSY project blot on graft-free
  • Opinion poll & quest for ST status
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #1 :: Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023
  • Camping @Shirui Lily Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Aku Zeliang : Young Talent of the Year Award
  • Manipur in UN's drug cartel map...
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #3 :: Gallery
  • Application: AgriEntrepreneur across Manipur
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Program & Venues
  • Ningol Chakouba at Bengaluru
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Hari-Uthang Kang Chingba :: Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #2 :: Gallery
  • Kut Festival @ Churachandpur : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural Program #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #1 :: Gallery
  • Okram Kumar : Archaeological researcher
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download