Biocontrol Africa 2018 Conference: A Milestone in the History of Biocontrol

biocThe conference covers topics on biocontrol market developments in Africa. (Image source: New Ag International)The Biocontrol Africa 2018 Conference, organised by 2BMonthly and New Ag International, took place from 19-20 March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya

The event welcomed delegates from more than 30 countries. Henri Oosthoek, managing director, Koppert Biological Systems, shared with delegates Koppert’s 50-year history in the biocontrol market and his strong belief in sustainable agricultural systems using biocontrol.

Dr Henry Wainwright, general manager of Real IPM Kenya, now a part of the Biobest Group, provided insights from his experience building a biocontrol business in Africa and future pest challenges where biocontrol may contribute.

Tom Mason, managing director of Dudutech and current president of BioProtection Global (BPG) also took the stage to give his thoughts on the way and means a global association can help boost biocontrol penetration in African markets, in particular by encouraging harmonization of regulatory procedures between countries.

The conference technical programme included talks from more than 20 speakers from 11 countries covering topics on biocontrol market developments, regulatory issues for biocontrol products, botanical and plant extract based biopesticides, new bioinsecticide solutions, and practical applications of biocontrol.

Dr David Sands, professor of plant pathology, Montana State University, and Dr Peter Lueth, P Lueth Consulting, closed the conference with an intriguing story on the development of biocontrol approach for Striga hermonthica employing host-specific pathogens. Their presentations combined the science of discovery and development along with the commercial development challenges in Africa that must be overcome to successfully deliver new technology to smallholder farmers. Creative approaches were key to solving both technical and commercial challenges in the project.

This was the first truly international conference on biocontrol that ever took place on the African continent. Its strong success was also due to the official support of IBMA and SABO and to the strong support of sponsors: Arysta LifeScience, Bayer Crop Science, Biobest-Real IPM, GreenCorp and Koppert.

The next Biocontrol Conference & Exhibition organised by 2BMonthly and New Ag International, in conjunction with IBMA and with the full support of ASOBIOCOL (Colombia) and ABC Bio (Brasil) will take place in Medellin, Colombia in November 2018.

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