White grub control, Reunion (France)

Case study Identity Card

Long title: White grub control, Biocontrol of a white grub in sugarcane
Impact assessment: ex post
Geographical coverage of the case: Reunion island (France)
Research department: Performance of Tropical Production and Processing Systems (Persyst)
Research unit: Aïda
Case study team: Regis Goebel (CIRAD, Aïda), Pierre Martin (CIRAD, Aïda), Estelle Roux (FDGDON), Jean-Marie Paillat (CIRAD, Recycling and risks), Nans Mouret (Istom, intern)
Years covered: 1981-2007

Case study description

The innovation under study

In 1981, sugarcane producers noticed that some sugarcane stalks were yellowing due to Hoplochelus marginalis (Coleoptera, Melolonthidae), a white grub accidentally introduced from Madagascar. CIRAD was immediately called on for help on the research side. In 1987, the discovery of an entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria brongniartii, enabled the development of a biocontrol strategy on a territory scale. The two innovative bioproducts that were developed, viz. a rice contaminated with fungal spores and a betel, allowed a reduction in and even the halting of chemical control and therefore avoided economic and environmental damage. Our study shows the strong commitment of all local stakeholders (sugarcane industry, institutions and private individuals) and highlights the diversity of induced impacts of a control strategy which is still in use in La Reunion. 

Actors involved in the innovation

Stakeholders involved in the innovation process

Value chain stakeholders: Betel Reunion, CTICS (inter-professional technical center of sugar and cane in Reunion Island), Regional Chamber of Agriculture, SICA (agricultural cooperatives), Sugar manufacturers, Sugarcane producers, Sugar syndicate.
Research stakeholders: CERF (anterior to eRCANE), Cirad, Fofifa, Inra,  University of La Réunion
Civil society stakeholders: Private individuals
Institutional stakeholders: DAAF, Conseil Général de La Réunion, Mauritius Government, the French Ministry of Research and Toxicology, the French Ministry of Agriculture, City halls of La Réunion
Others: Botanica, Calliope NPP, FDGDON, Mass media, Private distributors of Betel product, Sofider Bank

Stakeholders impacted by the innovation process

Value chain stakeholders: Sugarcane producers, Sugar manufacturers, Betel Reunion
Civil society stakeholders: Private individuals,
Institutional stakeholders: Conseil Général de La Réunion

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