The Natural Way – why nematodes can help feed the world safelyPaul Jackson
For generations farmers, foresters and growers have relied on potentially damaging chemicals to protect their crops. But Bionema’s founder Dr Minshad Ansari is convinced there is a better way. And the facts suggest he may well be right.
Minshad has dedicated the last 20 years of his scientific research looking into natural ways of controlling the pests that decimate up to half the food crops in the USA alone every year. His belief is that using beneficial nematodes can provide far better protection – without damaging the environment.
These naturally occurring microscopic worms are found in the soil, they seek out weevils, caterpillars, and larvae – and devour them. Of course, in nature they are lone hunters, hunting down their prey.
But by using them as the basis for integrated pest control programmes, millions of them can be delivered to a single crop, completing up to 99 per cent eradication of harmful vine weevil, chafers and thrips.
“Although there may still be a place for chemicals, we firmly believe that the increasing resistance of pests to these toxic products makes them less and less viable,” said Minshad. “Not only that, but the increasing deregulation of many of the main products, coupled to a greater awareness of the benefit of organically grown food, means that the use of a natural method of control is becoming a no-brainer.”
Simply put, all of Dr Ansari’s work over the years has enabled him and his team at Swansea University to developed a range of natural products which have been proven to work, not just in the laboratory but out in the field, providing spectacular results.
And the beauty of Bionema control programmes is that once the army of nematodes have done their work, killed the pests that cause so much damage not only in Western nations but across the third world, they too die when their food source is gone.
Leaving only biodegradable natural material in the soil – not harmful chemical bi-products that can contaminate the soil and potentially find their way into the food chain.
With some countries already being forced to increase the concentration of chemical pesticides by up to five times the recommended limits to protect their crops, it can only be a matter of time before there are serious repercussions. It’s time to think a different way.
Science and nature – working together to feed the world, and help save the planet.