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Thailand intensifies upscaling of ecological engineering to restore biodiversity and ecosystem resilience
14.08.2011

by Kukiat Soitong and Wantana Sriratanasak
Rice Department, Bangkhen, Bangkok, Thailand

Rice production in the Central Plains of Thailand have been severely affected by brown planthopper outbreaks for the last 3 years inflicting huge losses and government spending. In June 2011, the Rice Department with support from IRRI and the Thai Agricultural Business Association (TABA) launched a campaign to stop using abamectin and cypermethrin in rice fields because they induce planthopper outbreaks. Rice fields sprayed with these insecticides in the early crop stages tend to be 10 times more vulnerable to hopperburn. In addition, Rice Department has been introducing ecological engineering approaches to help restore biodiversity and ecosystem services. Fields enriched with nectar rich flower had increased parasitoid biodiversity and higher parasitism rates. In Thailand the Rice Department launched the Sustainable Planthopper Management program in March 2011 which features ecological engineering methods.


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