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Vol. 11, Special Issue 6 (2022)

Role of biocontrol agents in agriculture: A review

Ruhi Sheik, Anisha Jee, M Durga Prasad and Dr. Shashikant Sharma
Use of agrochemicals is not sustainable in long run, and we can see consequences of their use, however during 1960s and 1970 when agrochemicals were in use in India and their use was accelerated, we didn’t recognize their side effects at that time and their side effects were not given any importance, however at this point of time there is enormous information, reports, books on their use and harmful effects on environment, human, animal and plant life and soil quality.
During 1960’s when HYV seeds were introducing in India, particularly Rice and Wheat, they demanded extensive input care, they demanded use of heavy dose of fertilizers, water and also plant protection chemicals. Because of plant breeding, development of varieties using common ancestor, genetic erosion (as land races and wild forms had genes for biotic and abiotic stress), we are narrowing the genetic base and going towards uniformity and this let to susceptibility of developed varieties to races of pathogens, insects and made plant more prone to biotic stress, hence there was extensive use of plant protection chemicals.
We use wide range of plant protection chemicals to kill weeds, insects, fungi, bacteria, nematode and etc which we term Herbicides, Insecticides, Fungicides, Nematicides, Acaricides and etc. And use of these chemicals not just harm environment on a whole but also human (farmer) in particular and increase cost of production. Hence to achieve sustainability and to decrease cost of production we must go through Holistic approach of pest management and use different tools to keep pest population below ETL and this Holistic approach is what we call Integrated pest management, Biocontrol agents are one attractive method of pest management because it is target specific, effective in control, environmentally friendly.
Biocontrol involves use of live microorganisms i.e., bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans and nematodes to kill the insects. Hence these microbes either parasitize the insect to kill it, or release toxins to disturb physiology of insect. Moreover, these microbes must be use with care and their specifications must be known and understood orelese use of these will back fire us, for instance, use of Bacillus thuringiensis near silkworm farm or its use near Moriculture will lead to death of silkworm catterpillar and destroy silk industry.
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How to cite this article:
Ruhi Sheik, Anisha Jee, M Durga Prasad and Dr. Shashikant Sharma. Role of biocontrol agents in agriculture: A review. The Pharma Innovation Journal. 2022; 11(6S): 1479-1482.

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