Workshop on Important Arthropod Pests of the Caribbean Basin Amenable to Biological Control: Homoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera: Enhancing Biological Control's Contributions to Integrated Pest Management Through Appropriate Levels of Farmer Participation

Keith L. Andrews, Jeffrey W. Bentley, Ronald D. Cave


Most recent development literature calls for greater farmer participation in agricultural research and technology transfer. Interestingly, biological control specialists do not seem to be involved in the trend. Four methodological models for developing and implementing biological control are proposed and then analyzed for their applicability to the Caribbean and Central America. Profit-generating biological inputs can be developed without farmer involvement, but grower involvement is required in the implementation phase. Inoculative releases and classical biological control do not require farmer involvement in the implementation phase, but may benefit from farmers' support and participation in the research and development phase. Alternatively, conservation and manipulation techniques require extensive farmer involvement in both the research and implementation phases. Unfortunately, biological control researchers generally ignore farmers as collaborators, even when their participation is key for implementation in heterogeneous agroecological and socioeconomic environments. Biological control in developing neotropical countries is seriously limited by financial and personnel constraints; a series of difficult strategic and operational decisions must be made if biological control is to contribute significantly to IPM in the area.

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