Push–pull Farming Systems
Abstract, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 2014 April
Farming systems for pest control, based on the stimulo-deterrent diversionary strategy or push–pull system, have become an important target for sustainable intensification of food production. A prominent example is push–pull developed in sub-Saharan Africa using a combination of companion plants delivering semiochemicals, as plant secondary metabolites, for smallholder farming cereal production, initially against lepidopterous stem borers. Opportunities are being developed for other regions and farming ecosystems. New semiochemical tools and delivery systems, including GM, are being incorporated to exploit further opportunities for mainstream arable farming systems. By delivering the push and pull effects as secondary metabolites, for example, (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene repelling pests and attracting beneficial insects, problems of high volatility and instability are overcome and compounds are produced when and where required.