Training Future Managers Today for Controlling the Insect Pests of Tomorrow


An insect pest birth control to manage many insect pests

SIT has been successfully used on different insect pests including fruit flies, tsetse flies, moths, screwworms and, to some extent, disease-transmitting mosquitos for which the technique is being developed and validated through several field pilot tests. To help participants learn more about the broad applicability of SIT, the course covered a variety of insect pests and brought together scientists with different specializations and different regions, to foster information exchange among experts and participants.

“Even though insect biologies are very different, the technology is the same, and management-wise is the same. I think you can apply what you do with fruit flies to what you do with tsetse, and vice versa,” said Cardoso Pereira. “Looking at a range of insect pests gives the big picture and can help increase management skills because you learn from other examples, other participants, and other situations. It gives you a lot of background for the future.”

Participants had backgrounds in, respectively, fruit flies, tsetse flies, moths, screwworms and mosquitos, and came from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Thailand, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

One participant, Suwannapa Ninphanomchai, a project manager at the Center of Excellence for Vectors and Vector-Borne Diseases in Thailand, explained how one fruit fly expert shared an awareness raising video that she thought could help her address local people as part of her project on mosquitos.

“Mosquitos are a main carrier of dengue fever and malaria in Thailand. Last year, we had about 10,000 cases of dengue in our country and it happens all the time so it is very important that we implement the right measures to deal with this insect,” said Ninphanomchai. “We need cooperation from the local people, and sometimes local people don’t understand why it is their responsibility. A video like this can help.”

The training course was organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, in conjunction with the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme, and is expected to reoccur every two years for the next four years. The next course will be held again in 2017.