In India, around 30% of the crop yield potential is lost due to damage caused by insect pests, nematodes, plant diseases and weeds corresponding to 30 million tons of food grain loss. In an attempt to avoid such losses, the primary strategy employed has been to manage the pests by using chemical pesticide. Despite their success, potential hazards or risks have emerged that have had a substantial impact on the environment and other non-target organisms. Indiscriminate and excessive use of the chemical pesticides have also led to destruction of natural enemies and plant disease antagonists of crop pests, pesticide residues on produce, contamination of ground water and development of pesticide resistance in pests. To overcome the hazards associated with chemical pesticides, the use of biocontrol agents is advocated as an alternate method of pest management. Biological control of insect pests and diseases is one of the major ecosystem services provided to agriculture worldwide. Natural enemies such as predators, parasitoids and pathogens playa major role in limiting damage caused by indigenous and exotic pests.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research is sponsoring the first international conference on biological control to be held at Hotel Le Meridien Bangalore from 27th September 2018 to 29th September 2018, the conference is organised by ICAR- National Bureau of Agricultural insect resources NBAIR and Society for Biocontrol Advancement (SBA). Forty three scientists from abroad representing Australia, USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Sultanate of Oman, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, Senegal, Costa Rica, Vietnam, . Taiwan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Israel, Switzerland, Italy and Hungary will be presenting their research findings on different aspects of biological control.
With the governments push for prioritising organic agriculture the ICBC- 2018 will be very significant in achieving the goals of sustainable agriculture. The aim of ICBC 2018 is to address the issues faced by researchers, commercial entrepreneurs, farmers and policy makers, with reference to adoption of biological control approaches in the context of biodiversity, increased chemical pesticide pressure and climate change. The first edition of this conference is being organized by the Society for Biocontrol Advancement (SBA), ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (ICAR-NBAIR) Bengaluru in association with ICAR and International organizations like CABI, lAPPS, Tuta absoluta working group and IOBC Parthenium working group.
The conference would include a keynote address, 14 lead talks, 108 oral presentations and 103 poster presentations. Total of 240 delegates including 43 research scientists from other countries are participating and presenting their research work related to biological control of insect pests and weeds under the 10 different scientific sessions.