Six botanical pesticides being developed

RESEARCHERS from the Central Luzon State University have found six plants possessing botanical pesticide or biopesticide properties, which can be an alternative to commercial pesticides.

A biopesticide is a substance derived from plants capable of protecting selected crops against certain diseases and pests.

The team of researchers, led by program leader Dr. Annie Melinda Paz-Alberto of the Institute of Climate Change and Environmental Management, has developed six biopesticides from plants collected in Central Luzon provinces—Nueva Ecija, Bataan and Aurora.

However, the biopesticides have to be further studied, field tested and patented prior to its promotion to farmers.

Plant samples were collected from the forests in identified sites. They were later screened to determine whether they have potential as biopesticide and processed into liquid biopesticide.

Dr. Ronaldo Alberto, the project focal person, explained that the biopesticides extracted could not be applied to crops as a preventive or curative measure. However, the preventive approach is more effective based on their microplot trials on selected crops, like tomato, pepper, bitter gourd and onion.

The screening of indigenous plants as sources of biopesticides for vegetables, such as in lettuce, cabbage, tomato and sugarcane, is being done in Northern Mindanao. So far, 11 plant species with pesticidal properties have been collected and are undergoing tests to find out which can be used as biopesticides.

The biopesticides were developed under the Biodiversity Industry Strategic S&T Program of Philippine Council of Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology.

It hopes to address the challenges in biodiversity through the assessment and conservation of critical biological diversity for ecosystem services and development of biodiversity-based products, such as biopesticides, nutraceuticals, food and novel products.

S&T Media Service

-Published in BusinessMirror.  See article link here.


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