Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2023. 2:53 pm CST.
OIRSA’s Lab/Field Technician Saúl Cantoral – Photo Credit: OIRSA
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Thirty persons, including farmers and Ministry of Agriculture personnel, participated in a workshop on Biological Pest Control on Vegetable Crops in Lucky Strike, Belize District on Tuesday, November 14.
The workshop, organized by the Belize District Department of Agriculture, is being conducted by representatives from the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA), the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI), and the Climate Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture Project (CRESAP).
The training session, conducted at the Lucky Strike Community Center, focuses on an alternative strategy to reduce insect pest damage by using natural enemies.
SIRDI’s Extension Officer Marvin Garcia and SIRDI Lab Technician Luis Gongora made the first presentation on Integrated Pest Management focus in Biological Control using Metarhizium.
Metarhizium is an entomopathogenic fungus that can be used as a biological control agent for agricultural crops since it grows naturally in soils throughout the world and causes disease in various insects.
OIRSA’s Lab and Field Technician Saúl Cantoral presented on Biological Control Agents for Agricultural Crops looking specifically at Chrysoperla Carnea and Trichogramma Pretiosum.
Chrysoperla Carnea, whose common name is common green lacewing, is an insect that is an aphid predator that can be used as a biological control agent of insect pests on some crops such as potatoes. The green lacewing also attacks mealy bugs.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the Trichogramma pretiosum, commonly known as parasitic wasp, are tiny egg parasitoids that are released by the millions as a biological control agent in Central and South America. In Europe, these parasitic wasps are under consideration for controlling tomato pests. The Trichogramma Pretiosum occurs naturally in this part of the world.
Garcia and Santoral then made a practical presentation.
The Biological Pest Control on Vegetable Crops workshop closed Tuesday afternoon with a project presentation by Javier Garcia of the Climate Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture Project (CRESAP).
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