Biological pest control minimizes the use of harmful chemicals and promotes sustainable agricultural practices that can be implemented in open field crops. This is confirmed by Chula Brand, a leading company in the production and export of papayas, which has managed to control the pests responsible for losses in its production in a safe and effective way.
Chula Brand is a company with more than 20 years of experience in the production and distribution of papaya and other tropical fruits such as pineapple and lime. An important part of their mission as a producer is to contribute to healthy food in the world and, to achieve this, they must produce food with a lower chemical load.
Motivated by the losses caused by the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) and whitefly (Trialeurodes variabilis) and the ineffectiveness of conventional methods, due to the resistance generated by these pests, Chula Brand began to develop its biological control programs in cooperation with Koppert more than two years ago.
Chula Brand and Koppert: a successful collaboration
To reduce the burden of acaricides and other chemical pesticides, and consequently produce safer and better quality food, Chula Brand made the decision to use biological crop protection as part of an integrated pest management strategy (IPM). Although understanding the adaptability of insects in open field and the preventive approach of natural enemy releases was challenging at first, they found an ally in Koppert that not only has the highest quality products, but also accompanied them in this transition.
"The experience with the use of these products has been quite challenging for Chula Brand, since we went from a conventional management to a more environmentally friendly one. What was the most challenging at the beginning to reach the biological management we currently have, was to understand the adaptability of insects to plants in open fields," said Carlos Canul, technical manager of Chula Brand Mexico.
Thanks to the results of tests and field trials conducted in cooperation with Koppert, Chula Brand has reduced its chemical load to historic lows and implemented biological control programs in more than four papaya production orchards in Mexico. This has contributed to achieving its mission as a producer company, to improve and care for the health of the crop, its workers and the final consumer, who now can enjoy a product that is completely safe for consumption.
The future of biological control in papaya production
Koppert has a portfolio of natural solutions to control the main pests that affect the papaya crop, such as fruit tree red spider mite, white mite, whitefly, aphids and leafhoppers through the release and establishment of their main natural enemies in the crop. "The future of biological control in tropical crops such as papaya will be greatly influenced by science and research. And by what companies like Koppert can contribute, bringing very specific biological solutions that do not develop resistance to pests," said José Armida, agricultural director of Chula Brand Mexico, about the future of biological control in tropical crops such as papaya.
Thanks to joint research and development with companies such as Chula Brand, Koppert has been able to protect more than 450 hectares of papaya production in Mexico.