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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Biological Alternatives to Chemical Pesticide Inputs in the Food Chain: An Assessment of Sustainability

UK farmers and growers are challenged with adopting environmentally acceptable methods of pest control while maintaining quality, productivity and profitability. This project will provide new understanding of the environmental and regulatory sustainability of deploying inundatively applied biological control agents (aka biopesticides) as alternatives to chemical pesticides. This will be addressed using entomopathogenic fungi to control aphids in leafy salad crops, a system of which the consortium has considerable expertise.

The project comprises four linked objectives:

  1. to assess the obstacles to regulatory innovation for environmentally-friendly pest control within a model of the regulatory state
  2. to improve understanding of the environmental behaviour of biopesticides in relation to entomopathogen local adaptation
  3. to assess the benefit / cost contributions of biopesticides to sustainability, given constraints imposed by existing decision-making networks
  4. to compare the private governance model of pesticide reduction in the UK with its legislatively driven counterpart in Denmark.

By improving understanding of key natural and social science factors affecting the deployment of alternatives to chemical pesticides, and by entering into dialogue with principal actors in the pesticide regulation system, this project will progress sustainability goals for the UK rural economy across the whole of the food chain.

  • Outputs (42)