Can Biodiversity be Part of Pest and Disease Manage? Asking the Right Questions
July 28th, 2011
Much of the 30% of the world’s annual harvest lost to pests and diseases occurs in developing countries. The resulting economic and food resource costs are, to a significant extent, a consequence of crops growing in monocultures and the continuing evolution of new races of pests and pathogens that are able to overcome resistance genes introduced by modern breeding, creating the phenomenon of boom and bust cycles. Breeding programmes exist to develop new varieties and to replace varieties that have lost their resistance, but the maintenance cost of the current system is high particularly for developing countries; the International Center for Wheat and Maize (CIMMYT) reportedly spent 35% of its budget in 1989 on “maintenance research”. The inherent instability and thus risk for farmers lead to a reliance on various generations of pesticides. Click here to continue.