A complex mite-fungus-bacterium, known as ““sarocladium oryzae sawada” has affected the rice farming in many Central American countries, and Colombia too; causing banning, stains in the grain, thus and losses for the rice farmers.
Therefore, the Panama’s Agricultural Research Institute (IDIAP, by its Spanish acronym) and the Regional Fund of Agricultural Technology, teamed up with Nicaraguan (INTA) and Costa Rican (SENUMISA and CONARROZ) to get to the bottom of this issue.
The main purpose of this project is to develop technology capable of controlling this new set of plagues in a radical way, contributing to the sustainability of the rice farming. At the same time they are looking towards the increase of the product quality and output, as well as cost reduction and slowing environmental degradation.
As a part of the research they established sowing seasons and studied the nutritional demands of the products, considering the differences of productions systems between countries, to tie in the variables with the plagues development.
As a result of this process 5 different rice predatory species were identified, and from there they came up with different ‘agro-technologies’ that optimize the competitiveness and profitability of the rice farming.
In the other hand, identifying these predatory mites allows their use as a biologic plague controller in the rice farming industry. In this way there can be a more sustainable management of the product, reducing the use of pesticides and production costs.
The most important result from the research was the release of 3 new rice varieties, resistant to the mite-fungus-bacterium plague. This has allowed the recovery of the rice farming industry in the Central American countries that have been affected, rising the product’s profitability because this new varieties now reach more than a 60% of the rice sown in these countries.
You can read the complete report in this link: Complejo ácaro-hongo bacteria, nuevo reto para arroceros centroamericanos.