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Biopesticide campaign averts red locust disaster

The use of biopesticides has averted a red locust ( Nomadacris septemfasciata) disaster in eastern and southern Africa, the UN FAO says. A rapid intervention has markedly reduced infestations, preventing a full-blown invasion that could have affected the food crops of 15 million people in the region, it reports. The campaign focused mainly on three areas in Tanzania, using a Metarhizium anisopliae–based fungal biopesticide, Green Muscle, to treat around 10,000 ha. The South African pest control company, Biological Control Products (Pinetown) supplies the product. It is the first time that biopesticides have been used on a large scale in Africa against locusts, the FAO adds.

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