International Biopesticides conference

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Advances in the development of biopesticides for pest control will come under the microscope at a three day conference at Swansea University from 7th-9th September.

Following a recent call by scientists to ban the use of pesticides on bees, and research which also suggests that there are risks to human health from chemical pesticides, the conference will focus on introducing new strategies for more use of biopesticides that will help protect our food chain.

The meeting is attracting experts and academia from across the world, including researchers, growers, and industry and government agencies from the forestry, agricultural, horticultural, human health and livestock production.

It will focus on innovative technologies and strategies for pest control and will highlight new products that will become a common feature of future pest control programmes.  The conference will also examine new tools and methods developed to accelerate discovery of new biopesticides for quality assurance.

Biopesticides include microbial (fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes and microsporidia) biological control agents (BCAs), extracts of plants and other organisms, and behaviour modifying chemicals (semiochemicals) such as pheromones.  

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Picture: lab samples of fungus, which can be used as a biopesticide

Biopesticides are widely used for controlling insects, mites, plant parasitic nematodes and disease-causing pathogens.  Increasing demand for residue-free crop protection products, which have little or no negative impact on human health and the environment are some of the key drivers of the biopesticides market.

The global agricultural biologicals market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6% from 2014 to 2019.

Although the mature markets (such as the US, Spain, and Italy) hold larger shares in the agricultural biologicals market, the European region is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 15.2% during the forecast period, 2014 to 2019. The Asia-Pacific region is estimated to grow at the second-fastest CAGR of 14.7% from 2014 to 2019.

400 x 254‌Picture:  Prof Tariq Butt and team in his lab at Swansea University

Professor Tariq Butt from Swansea University College of Science who is renowned worldwide for his leading research in this area, said:
“This meeting is about innovative products and strategies to meet the demand of stakeholders in what is a fast growing market.  

The meeting has created opportunities for colleagues to develop new, strategic collaborations to accelerate commercialisation of new products and the uptake of new pest control strategies. We look forward to welcoming them to Swansea.”

The programme, which will run for three consecutive days, will see a number of pioneering speakers from this field share their expertise in what is fast becoming a global requirement for the agricultural biologicals market.


Speakers include Dr Willem Ravensberg (The Netherlands); Dr Michael Brownbridge (Canada); Dr Hermann Strasser (Austria); Dr Diana Leemon (Australia); Professor Steve Arthurs (USA); Dr Alia Zayed (Egypt); Professor Anant Patel (Germany); Professor Stefan Vidal (Germany) and Professor David Hall (UK); Dr Jacqueline Scheepmaker (The Netherlands).

Swansea University College of Science