Crop Biotech Update

Conference Focuses on Tiny Rice Pest

June 27, 2008

Planthoppers - small insects that devastated millions of hectares of rice in southern China and Vietnam - is the focus of a conference this week in Los Baños, Philippines. In the 1970s and 1980s, rice intensification programs in Indonesia, Thailand, India, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines were threatened by these tiny insects, which spurred the first brown planthopper (BPH) international conference in 1977.

In the last 30 years, scientific advances in plant breeding have coincided with the development of ecosystem-services frameworks and lessons from breeding resistance, understanding farmer decisions, implementing integrated pest management (IPM), and improving communication campaigns. The new knowledge can allow novel approaches and research for more sustainable management. The conference at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which brings together leading regional experts—including representatives from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, China, Japan, India, and Bangladesh—and policymakers, will be an important starting point.

Read the press release at http://www.irri.org/media/press/press.asp?id=177.