The Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (ABIM 2022) ended this week in Switzerland on a positive note, pointing to innovations and advances that will make biological pest control more affordable.
Agenor Mafra-Neto, Chief Executive Officer at ISCA Technologies
In an exclusive interview with AgroPages, Agenor Mafra-Neto, Chief Executive Officer at ISCA Technologies, stated that the event provided a lot of information and updates on what has been happening in the biocontrol industry.
″Agriculture is undergoing a revolution that brings a whole more sustainable and biological economy, which is quite good, and this event showed a lot of that,″ he said.
ISCA's CEO highlighted changes in European legislation that is putting pressure on conventional agriculture to preserve the environment while at the same time putting tremendous pressure on the effectiveness of organic products, especially crop protection products.
″This whole issue is opening up a big advantage for companies like ISCA, which produce pest control solutions that are green, sustainable and effective and have the same cost as conventional insecticides,″ he explained.
According to Agenor Mafra-Neto, this makes producers adopt these biosolutions for pest management, as they realize that they are effective products with a cost similar to what they already have with conventional pesticides.
One of the most exciting solutions that emerged at ABIM 2022, highlighted by the ISCA CEO, was the beginning of the commercialization of pheromone products made by transgenic organisms.
He mentioned BioPhero, which produces pheromones with yeast and has just been purchased for US$200 million by FMC, which showed the interest of global giants in this market.
He pointed out that ISCA Technologies produced pheromones from plants. ″What will happen now is that these molecules, these biological production technologies, will start to cheapen the production of pheromones at a very large level.″
As a result of projects such as Agenor Mafra-Neto, these products will start to have ″the same price or even below conventional insecticides. This will be a big change in the pheromone market because they are generally very expensive.″
According to ISCA's CEO, the strong trend is the increasingly effective use of biologicals in pest control, such as semiochemicals and microorganisms, as well as soil bioregeneration.
″At ISCA, we see that the semiochemicals area is starting to use not only pheromones, but other much cheaper formulations of blends that are more efficient against pests,″ he said.
″In addition to being cheaper, these solutions are more effective, especially if they are used with small doses of insecticides in 'attract and kill' systems. So we see a lot of synergy in this, and there are effective products that are coming to the producer at the cost of a conventional, generic and low-cost insecticide,″ he said in conclusion.
(Editing by Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages)