Koppert Mexico reports successful biocontrol in papaya
Mexico is the biggest exporter of papaya with up to 44% of the global market, so it is little wonder that farmers do their utmost to protect this valuable tropical fruit. Recognizing the commercial value of this crop, Koppert Mexico has spent the past three years proving that persistent spider mite, whitefly and aphids can be controlled successfully using our biological products.
Technical advisor, Luis Hernandez who works in the Veracruz papaya-growing region of Mexico, says successful trials with Spidex, Spical, Swirskii and Chrysopa, have convinced many growers in the region to step over to biocontrol for papaya. ‘We now service between 30% of the total papaya surface in this region and it represents some 450 hectares,’ Luis states. ‘In the past farmers have had to use up to 20 applications of chemical pesticides in one season alone. Since using our biocontrol products, this has been reduced to only one application where necessary.’
Koppert Mexico reports that biocontrol in papaya has seen a 70% reduction in whitefly, a 50% reduction in aphids and an awesome 100% in spider mite. ‘Besides the strict control on pesticides, the pests had also become resistant to chemical control,’ Luis adds. ‘Our successful trials with biocontrol has encouraged a large number of farmers to step over to our natural products.’
There is a growing demand for papaya for the export market with an average annual growth rate of 5,2%. ‘We are only just able to keep up with the increasing demand for our biocontrol products,’ Luis observes. 'There is great potential for our microbial solutions too.’
Papaya is not the first agricultural crop to benefit from our macro biological solutions in the region. Biocontrol is being used to control thrips in avocado, as well as in limes and citrus.