Final Report and Policy Document

Potential of biocontrol for the sustainable management of plant diseases in Scotland: opportunities and barriers

Strawberry plant (alyssapy from Pixabay)

Previous PHC projects identified biocontrol as a major element of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with a role to play in mitigating pesticide withdrawals. However, it is currently unclear how practical biocontrol is as a suitable alternative to pesticides in Scotland, what the opportunities are for deployment across different sectors and what barriers exist to uptake (including regulatory). The objective of this project was to understand the current situation of microbial biocontrol in Scotland by synthesising the findings from stakeholder workshops and a literature review. Findings indicated that microbial biocontrol has the potential to play an important role in sustainable plant protection within Scotland but it was evident that at present uptake is very low, even although commercial options are available, and despite a body of research and development activity.  Recommendations to improve the uptake of microbial biocontrol agents (MBCA) in Scotland included knowledge exchange and comprehensive guidance to increase stakeholders’ knowledge and understanding on using MBCA and the development of a new regulatory framework to streamline the registration of MBCA.

Image by alyssapy from Pixabay