Not all insects are pests, some are friends of the crops and, therefore, of farmers!
As part of a natural farming initiative, agricultural scientists from Khalsa College are breeding ‘friendly insects’ in their labs to control the growth of harmful insects and protect the crop.
Image for representation only. Source: by Darius Baužys, via Flickr
According to a report by The Times of India, in a research project taken up to discourage farmers from using poisonous insecticides and pesticides and to promote organic farming, the scientists have set up a Bio-Control Lab, where they breed several beneficial insect species that either feed on pests or lay eggs in the body of enemy insects, breaking their life cycles as a result.
The college’s agriculture department has adopted 50 acres of land, where crops are to be cultivated without using insecticides and pesticides. The department is also reaching out to farmers to encourage the practice of setting these friendly insects free in the infested fields to control pests biologically, without the use of chemicals.
The insects being bred in the lab are Trichogramma Brasiliensis, Isotima Jevenesis, Coccinellide, Syrphid, Spider, Carabid, Dragon Fly, Predatory Pentatomids and Abnthrocoriddbugs, as told by Rajinder Pal Singh, in charge of the college’s Bio Control Lab.
To find a solution to this problem, the department of agriculture has taken it upon itself to create awareness about ‘friendly insects’ among farmers.
Head of the department Dr Ramandeep Kaur Bal said, “By controlling them (pests) biologically, farmers will not only save money on costly and poisonous substances but will also produce healthier crops in a natural manner.”
The report also states that many sugar mills and farmers had already approached them for regular services of their Bio Control Lab to protect their crops from harmful insects.