Title of document: Ecological pest control fortifies agricultural growth in Asia–Pacific economies

Authors/editor: Kris A. G. Wyckhuys, Yanhui Lu, Wenwu Zhou, Matthew J. W. Cock, Steven E. Naranjo, Atumurirava Fereti, Frances E. Williams & Michael J. Furlong

Journal’s name if any: nature ecology & evolution

Ministry/Government Agency/Organisation: nature ecology & evolution

Year of publication: 2020

Geographic focus: Asia

Main issues/ topics addressed (for example: …)

School of agroecology (if any):

Web address to original document (if any):

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-020-01294-y

Summary:

The Green Revolution is credited with alleviating famine, mitigating poverty and driving aggregate economic growth since the 1960s. In Asia, high-input technology packages secured a tripling of rice output, with germplasm improvements providing benefits beyond US$4.3 billion yr–1. Here, we unveil the magnitude and macro-economic relevance of parallel nature-based contributions to productivity growth in non-rice crops over the period 1918–2018 (across 23 different Asia–Pacific geopolitical entities). We empirically demonstrate how biological control resolved invasive pest threats in multiple agricultural commodities, ensuring annually accruing (on-farm) benefits of US$14.6–19.5 billion yr–1. Scientifically guided biological control of 43 exotic invertebrate pests permitted 73–100% yield-loss recovery in critical food, feed and fibre crops including banana, breadfruit, cassava and coconut. Biological control thereby promoted rural growth and prosperity even in marginal, poorly endowed, non-rice environments. By placing agro-ecological innovations on equal footing with input-intensive measures, our work provides lessons for future efforts to mitigate invasive species, restore ecological resilience and sustainably raise output of global agrifood systems…