FAO and CIAT Assist Indonesia with Biological Control for Pink Cassava Mealybug Bogor, Indonesia, 24 September 2014

FAO and CIAT Assist Indonesia with Biological Control for Pink Cassava Mealybug Bogor, Indonesia, 24 September 2014

FAO through a Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) on Spread Prevention and Management of Pink Cassava Pink Mealybug (February 2011-December 2013) assisted Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries to manage the pink cassava mealybug (PCM) through the introduction of the parasitoid Anagyrus lopezi. The parasitoid was imported from Benin, West Africa into Thailand in 2009 by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Subsequently, the FAO-TCP facilitated parasitoid releases in tandem with cassava IPM farmer training in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.

In March 2014, FAO facilitated the visit of staff from CIAT and the Bogor Agricultural University to Thailand to meet –and discuss collaboration on cassava pink mealybug biocontrol with- government counterparts from the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) and the private sector partner Thai Tapioca Development Institute (TTDI). The parasitoid Anagyrus lopezi was imported into Indonesia and rearing was initiated at the Bogor IPB in March 2014.

On 24 September 2014, the Bogor Agricultural University, together with CIAT and FAO, released 2,000 parasitic wasps in cassava crops under nethouse conditions. Agriculture Minister approval for open-field releases of the parasitoids is awaited and hopefully will be obtained soon as to initiate the urgently needed management of this invasive pest that is threatening the livelihoods of millions of smallholder cassava farmers in Indonesia and the country's food security.

A selection of relevant news links on the Indonesia parasitoid releases:

http://www.cabi.org/Uploads/bni/news/bni-news-35-4(3)(1)-page7-9.pdf http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/09/tiny-wasps-deployed-kill-crop-eating-pests-2014928103046731639.html
http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2014/09/24/indonesia-deploys-tiny-killer-wasps-to-save-cassava-crop/
http://www.ciatnews.cgiar.org/2014/11/25/tiny-wasps-make-a-big-story/