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Papaya Mealybug : success Story  
Classical Biological control of Papaya mealybug – Success story

Since, July 2008, a sudden outbreak of papaya mealy bug, Paracoccus marginatus (Williams and Granara de Willink) was noticed in papaya, mulberry, tapioca, jatropa, vegetables, fruits, cotton, plantation crops, spices and flowers including several weeds in different parts of Tamil Nadu. Mass multiplication technology of the exotic parasitoid Acerophagus papayae (Noyes and Schauff) was standardized for large scale laboratory production of parasitoid involving host insect culture, parasitoid production techniques, storage, transportation, adult diet requirement and method of release. Mass multiplication of mealybug parasitoids was immediately taken up in TNAU in Agricultural and Horticultural colleges, 36 research stations and 14 Krishi Vigyan Kendras on a war footing manner and the effective parasitoid viz., Acerophagus papayae was released throughout Tamil Nadu. About 6.25 million parasitoids viz.Acerophagus papayae (Noyes and Schauff) were mass multiplied and released  in the farmers field @ 100 parasitoids / field / village  or block in more than 2500 villages at free of cost throughout Tamil Nadu. A spectacular control of papaya mealy bug during 2010, with imported parasitoid A. papayae is an example of successful classical biocontrol programmes carried by this department in which an amount of Rs 435 crores loss per annum is saved in Tamil Nadu on papaya, mulberry and tapioca, and an amount of Rs 244.5 crores was benefited annually by not recommending chemical pesticides.

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