Justus Monari, farm manager at the Kisii Agricultural Training Center, sprays vegetables against pests. [Sammy Omingo,Standard]

To combat the aggressive pests and diseases that have emerged as a result of climate change and global warming, current pest and control strategies need to be reconsidered. In an earlier presentation, the chief scientist of the International Institute of Plant Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat), Entomology HC Sharma, said that the main impacts of climate change, namely elevated temperatures and ultraviolet radiation and low relative humidity, many established pest control strategies could make many established pest control strategies less effective.

According to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, climate change is driving the spread of pests and diseases on every continent. The center suggests that climate change can affect population size, survival rate, and the geographical distribution of pests. and the intensity, evolution, and geographic distribution of diseases.

As climate change accelerates, pests also change their behavioral patterns to deal with them. Icrisat adds that insect pests currently confined to tropical and subtropical regions will move to temperate regions due to climate change, along with a shift in the production areas of their host plants. The distribution and relative abundance of some insect species that are exposed to high temperatures in temperate regions may decrease as a result of global warming.

To compound the problem, Science Direct, a science journal, notes that in the wake of climate change and global warming, pest outbreaks will be more frequent, especially during prolonged periods of drought followed by heavy rainfall.

With this in mind, Science Direct suggests that some of the components of pest control such as host plant resistance, biopesticides, natural enemies, and synthetic chemicals become less effective because of these drastic changes in pest behavior.

New ecological zones

Therefore, in order to win the war on plant pests and disease, there is an urgent need to evaluate the effectiveness of various integrated pest control technologies. Pest control is a big deal because up to 40 percent of food crops are lost to plant pests and diseases each year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

– Hellen Miseda is an editor at Standard Group and a journalist on environmental protection

Would you like to receive the latest farming tips and videos?
Join us