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Restoring grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Halting and reversing land degradation is one of the biggest challenges to meeting the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals. This project aims to assess the effects of grassland degradation on soil functions on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and determine whether manipulation of plant functional diversity can accelerate the restoration of functioning of degraded soils.

Improving knowledge and understanding of beetle biodiversity in Laos

Global biodiversity is receiving increased attention as it becomes more and more threatened because of the growing human population and development. Beetles or coleopteran are no exception and CABI is running this project to increase knowledge and understanding of their biodiversity in Laos.

Improving the rational use of pesticides for locusts in China

Agriculture is very important to China and chemical pesticides are often used to control their associated pests. Biopesticides, which have a low impact on surrounding plants and the environment can be used instead and China wants to switch over to them. Using CABI’s expertise, this project uses Earth Observation (EO) and other data to build a prototype system that provides information on locust control in China.

Promoting sustainable tea production in India

India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world and it can be a powerful engine for development. However, tea crops here suffer from a range of pests and diseases. Pesticides are the main management solution but this results in increased production costs and potential risks to human health. So, we undertook a major scientific research study to evaluate the use of ecological pest and disease management strategies. The project aimed to establish proof of concept for the judicious use of inputs in the tea ecosystem and develop a toolkit of non-chemical pest management practices which can encourage the sustainable production of tea.

Increasing rice production around the Mekong

Rice is the most important crop in southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar. Despite recent improvements, productivity is still low with millions of tons lost to pests, diseases and weeds. Intensive pesticide use has led to insecticide resistance, outbreaks of secondary pests and damage to farmers’ health. This project is introducing a biologically based pest management approach to safely and sustainably increase rice production, improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the region.

Improved management strategies for cocoa in Papua New Guinea

Cocoa is a highly important export in Papua New Guinea, 80% of which comes from smallholders dependent on it for their livelihoods. But, production is threatened by the cocoa pod borer. Tricky to control, it is now one of the most serious threats to the global cocoa industry. We are developing effective ways to detect and predict infestations such as evaluating improved clones and then promoting better crop management, intensification and diversification, and region-specific extension.