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Prefecture scientists develop environment-friendly pesticide

Date Posted: 2002-01-17

The prefectural experimental agriculture station has developed new technology for destroying insects harmful to fruits and vegetables by employing the pests’ natural enemy, a thrips (plant-sucking insect) known as Arigatashimaazamiuma. Measuring a mere two to three millimeters in length, Arigatashimaazamiuma is found only in the southern part of Okinawa, Central and South America and Southeast Asia. In experiments utilizing the insect, the number of destructive plant-eating pests was decreased by 75 percent. Conversely, their numbers doubled in the absence of the thrips. Several other prefectures conducted similar tests and arrived at the same positive results. The agriculture station has applied for a patent for the treatment in the name of Okinawa’s governor, Keiichi Inamine. At the same time Ryukyu Sankei Co. and Arysta LifeScience Co. are registering it as a biological pesticide in anticipation of its widespread use as an environmentally friendly biotechnology.

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