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Pesticidal plants in Africa: A global vision of new biological control products from local uses

Stevenson, Philip C., Isman, Murray B., Belmain, Steven R.
Industrial crops and products 2017 v.110 pp. 2-9
active ingredients, arthropod pests, biological control, botanical insecticides, cash crops, commercialization, crop production, entrepreneurship, farmers, human health, indigenous species, industry, introduced species, pest control, pesticidal plants, pesticidal properties, surveys, Africa
Botanical insecticides provide a multitude of chemistries for the development of new pest management products. Despite relatively low rates of expansion of botanically based pesticides, regulatory changes in many parts of the world are driving a renaissance for the development of new natural pest control products that are safer for human health and the environment. Africa is arguably the continent with the most to gain from developing natural plant-based pesticides. Hundreds of indigenous and exotic species with pesticidal properties have been reported from Africa through various farmer surveys and subsequent research, many of which have been confirmed to be active against a range of arthropod pests. On-farm use of pesticidal plants, particularly among resource-poor small-holder farmers, is widespread and familiar to many African farmers. Until recently, the pyrethrum industry was dominated by East African production through small holder farmers, showing that non-food cash crop production of pesticidal plants is a realistic prospect in Africa when appropriate entrepreneurial investment and regulatory frameworks are established. This paper reviews the current status of research and commercialisation of pesticidal plant materials or botanically active substances that are used to control pests in Africa and establishes where major gaps lie and formulates a strategy for taking research forward.