Agri Kultuur September / September 2016 - Page 23

Belur believes that biological control using nematodes can be affordable to growers if suitable processes are developed and he is hopeful that the results will benefit Indian and South African producers. Final step According to Addison the current collaboration will accelerate research on the mass culture of EPN’s. Both researchers plan to develop skills in their respective laboratories through the collaboration, which has received approximately R1m funding jointly from the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). “Mass culture and the formulation of EPN’s is highly technical. In order to apply EPN’s within the industry we will need a regular supply of formulated EPN’s. When one considers that up to 1 million EPN’s are applied per tree, we will need a lot! “In addition, the efficient mass production of EPN’s will result in an available and affordable biological control agent. The use of EPN’s within an integrated pest management programme looks very promising as they should allow for the control of above ground and below ground pests,” he says. The project has a three year duration after which the technology will be ready to mass culture specific insect pathogenic nematode species in a large scale bioreactor. Malan says that while industry has generously funded research on insect-pathogenic nematodes South Africa has not yet progressed to widespread application of the technology. “This is the very final step in getting the technology to growers in the field,” she says. For further information: contact Dane McDonald at dane@hortgro.co.za www.hortgro.co.za