Biocontrol tech wins China science award
A project to develop technology for the rearing and mass production of the predatory mite, Amblyseius cucumeris, has been awarded second prize at China’s “state progress in science and technology awards 2008”. The project, led by researcher Dr Zhang Yanxuan of the Institute of Plant Protection, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has been classified as a national key product programme. In 2005, Dr Zhang established a privately-owned company, Fujian Yanxuan Biocontrol Technology, capable of rearing 800,000 million predatory mites per year. The predatory mites can control harmful mites with an efficacy of around 90%, reducing yearly pesticide usage by some 40-60% and at a third of the cost of chemical pesticides, the company claims.