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New Zealand Plant Protection 68 (2015): 443

Biopesticides for New Zealand's pests - opportunities and challenges

M. O’Callaghan, M.J. Wilson and S.M. Zydenbos


Biopesticides can provide effective control of existing and invasive invertebrate pests and diseases impacting on New Zealand's primary sector production, and combat new pests emerging as a result of land-use change, farming intensification and climate change. While the international biopesticide market is undergoing rapid growth at present, assisted by regulatory environments favourable to biopesticide registration and uptake, biopesticides are not widely used in New Zealand. The number of biopesticides registered under the Agriculture Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act (Ministry for Primary Industries, MPI) has slowly increased from 11 products in 1991, to 33 in 2010, with 49 registered in 2015. However, only a limited number of these products are actively marketed and used by growers at present. To play an increasing role in New Zealand's sustainable production systems, next generation biopesticides will need to have levels of efficacy comparable to currently available controls, and will be able to be used by farmers with minimal change of practice. This will be achieved through use of a new suite of microorganisms with broader host ranges and different modes of action from currently available microbial agents, together with new cost effective production and delivery systems. Efficient commercialisation of New Zealand-appropriate biopesticides will also be facilitated by proposed changes to the registration process including the development of MPI's new Biological Pesticides Standard.

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