The biopesticide production unit is a pilot unit for research in which IITA-Benin produces entomopathogenic fungi to control crop pests. Biopesticides based on entomopathogenic fungi are produced in a di-phasic process: a liquid phase consisting of water and brewery yeast and a solid phase composed of precooked and previously sterilized rice.
In the first years, production started with a biopesticide based on an entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, to control locusts and Sahelian grasshoppers and led to the commercialization of Green MuscleR, which was produced by a company in RSA, used and recommended by FAO, and later further developed in Senegal.
Later on, many other biopesticides including Beauveria bassiana were developed. A summary of biological products developed by IITA-Benin comprises the following:
- Green Muscle, IMI 331089 to control locusts and grasshoppers
- Beauveria bassiana, isolate Bba 5653 to control Plutella xylostella
- Metarhizium anisopliae, isolate I91 609 to control Zonocerus variegatus
- Metarhizium anisopliae, isolate Met 31 to control Helicoverpa armigera
- Beauveria bassiana, isolate Bb 115 to control the cowpea pod borer Maruca vitrata
Ouorou Kobi Douro-Kpindou: Insect pathologist, Head Biopesticide Production Unit, D.Kpindou@cgiar.org