Integrated pest management (IPM) is very much a new concept to growers in some developing countries, such as Uzbekistan. According to Kenan Kütük − Biobest IPM and Pollination Specialist for the Middle East and Central Asia − relying solely on a limited range of chemical crop protection products, Uzbek growers are experiencing issues controlling a number of key pests.
“The problem pests tend to be, whitefly, thrips, aphid and spider mite,” he explains. “In a bid to improve control, growers of protected crops − such as pepper, eggplants and strawberries − are keen to adopt IPM principles.”
One of the largest vegetable glasshouse complexes in Uzbekistan, Beq Cluster produces 26ha of California Wonder type bell peppers − plus smaller areas of eggplant and strawberries. Last year Hasan Yıldırım – Biobest Area Manager for the Middle East and Central Asia − and Kenan visited the site, in the Syrdaria region of the country. Having carried out a thorough pest evaluation, they explained the advantages of switching from conventional pest control to IPM.
“Given that the pests have already gained resistance to chemical controls, IPM not only offers Beq Cluster a very good solution for controlling pests, it also helps open up export marketing opportunities for them,” says Kenan.
“We are working alongside Biobest’s local distributor, Agrohouse, and with the company’s own consultant Mr Ali Erdogan, and production manager Mr Huseyin Coskun,” he says. “Mr Ali Erdogan and Mr Huseyin Coskun both have in-depth knowledge and practical experience of IPM, having advised and worked in crops back in their native Turkey.”
Having devised an IPM strategy, working together with Agrohouse Biobest is helping to prepare the necessary documentation to enable the beneficials to be imported in to Uzbekistan.
Looking to the future, Kenan says; “The outlook for growers in Uzbekistan is good. Working together, we are seeing many successes with IPM. We are finding Uzbek growers are keen to learn and embrace new technologies to improve production and reduce residue levels. Following trends in other parts of the world, it is likely there will be pressure to reduced residues on fresh produce in this region too.”