To utilize Thailand natural resources for pest control, BIOTEC research team explores insect pathogenic fungi, which are natural enemies of pest insects, to discover potential strains to become effective biological control agents that pose minimal threat to non-target organisms. From our study, Beauveria bassiana BCC2660 has been shown to exhibit efficacy against insect pests including green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), mealybug (Pseudococcus cryptus) and brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens). Then, researchers developed a solid-state fermentation using rice grain as a substrate for the effective production of Beauveria inoculums at low cost. The process and conditions have been optimized to yield maximum spore production.
Realizing that one of the tasks undertaken by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE) is to supply Beauveria inoculum to farmers to promote the use of biocontrol agents, NSTDA is collaborating with DOAE aiming to build up the capacity in Beauveria production in the Department and farmers. This will be achieved by the transfer of technology developed and the effective strain (B. bassiana BCC2660) screened by BIOTEC to regional centers of DOAE responsible for inoculum production and distribution, as well as the training of farmers on the Beauveria production from inoculum. The pilot project will focus on upgrading production facility and training of staff of DOAE regional centers in Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Phrae and Nakhon Sawan provinces, as well as farmers in those respective areas. It is expected that these four sites will further transfer the technology to other centers to cover the whole country.
The pilot project was recently launched in Chiang Mai on 22 June 2015, with a meeting among staff from NSTDA, BIOTEC and DOAE to formulate detailed action plan. In addition, a training workshop on Beauveria inoculum production was held for DOAE staff on the same day.
Posted on 2 July 2015