Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) is a devastating agricultural pest of global concern, which has spread widely across continents causing substantial economic losses, particularly in tomato cultivation. In Africa the problem is much severe to the extent that farmers are abandoning the crop. Controlling T. absoluta by use of chemical pesticides is profoundly tricky due to development of rapid resistance. Alternative options such as biological controls are either scarce or expensive and only a handful of microbial agents are currently registered for management of T. absoluta in Africa. It has been observed that T. absoluta causes damage and loss in tomato ranging from 50-100% in South America, Europe and Africa where management options are most limited. Although several synthetic pesticides are registered for management of T. absoluta including; chlorantraniliprole spinetoram and emamectin benzoate group, little success are reported in Africa due to various factors including fast resistance development of T. absoluta. Commercially available biopesticides such as; Beauveria bassiana (Bals.), Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschn.), Bacillus thurungiensis (Bt), neem extract (Azadirachtin) and Spinosad (bacteria compound; spinosyn A and spinosyn D) are scarcely distributed in Africa. Although recently there are newly studied biocontrols including Aspergillus oryzae (Vuruga Biocide) that is registered in Tanzania, yet not distributed to most farmers across the country. However, some biocontrols have been reported for control T. absoluta in Africa including; Aspergillus flavus (Ahlb.) and Aspergillus oryzae (Ahlb.), they are not commercially available. This review highlights on the utilization and commercialization of various biological control agents for T. absoluta management in Africa.
Published Date: 2022-01-25;