Pest Control (India) Private Limited (PCI), an India-based pest management company, will introduce a new Auto-confusion product, Exosex YSBTab, on May 1, 2009, in India. The new product is to fight the harmful effects of yellow stem borer of rice. The yellow stem borer, Scirpophaga incertulas is a serious pest of rice all through Southeast and East Asia, China, the Indian continent, and Afghanistan. It hits rice all through its growth period causing large reductions in the yield.

Present control methods depend a lot on the use of pesticides, often applied by hand, which may be harmful to the farmer, water supplies, beneficial wild life and the environment in general. Additionally consumers are increasingly demanding the food that is completely free of pesticide residues.

The new Auto-confusion product is a new method of Pest Management utilizing insect sex pheromones at very low levels, which is similar to usual mass trapping and yet produces better results in preventing the adult moths from mating. This is a patented technology of Exosect Ltd in the UK and has newly been awarded the title of Best New Product at The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology Awards, held in London, UK in November 2008 for the Exosex SPTab a stored product pest solution and INNOFEL award at the SIFEL Morocco Annual Agricultural Show, held in December 2008 for Exosex CM (codling moth active mating disruption system).

PCI leads its foray in the field of eco-friendly crop protection via its devoted and DSIR recognized research and production facility that has won the prestigious DSIR awards twice in 1993 and 2007 for its work in this field.

Realizing the potential of this technology in improving food security, government of India has given an exemption from registering this product.

Rice exporters, supermarket buyers and the government advisers have been invited to attend a launch conference at the India Habitat centre in Delhi on May 1, 2009, where Alan Cork, professor of Bio-rational Pest Management at the University of Greenwich, UK, will describe the development of the Auto-confusion technology incorporating the potential for use in numerous crops including rice and sugar cane.

Professor Cork says “Auto-confusion offers farmers, for the first time, an exciting non-toxic, biodegradable and practical alternative to conventional insecticide control of rice stem borer in my experience ideal for use in basmati export production”.

Krishnaiah Kothakonda, former director of Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad and an expert on rice production in India will present the results of two years of trials that has shown Exosex YSBTab to be as effective as traditional farmers’ practice with the added benefits of being eco-friendly, easy and safe to apply, and cost efficient. According to Krishnaiah “Auto-confusion is a silent battle against the target pest using pheromones which keeps the pest population under check, light on the pocket to the farmer and saves the environment too”.

By using the new Exosect technology, the rice producers will benefit from protection against stem borers, helping them to maximize yields. With Exosex YSBTab no application equipment is needed and access to clean water is not necessary, making the technology highly beneficial for the rice producers with poor access to natural resources.