Mass Production and Product Development of a Microbial Pest Control Agent

Abstract The feasibility of economic mass production of the selected strain and the development of a stable product are key factors to a successful microbial pest control product. Two phases are distinguished, the development of the production process, and the development of the product, including formulation, packaging and field testing. The critical technical and economic factors are identified and evaluated for the four types of pathogens. Various production systems are reviewed. Bacteria, fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes are generally produced in vitro. Baculoviruses must be produced in vivo. Advantages and disadvantages in terms of costs, manageability and versatility are provided for each production system. The development of a stable product that is able to deliver effective pest control requires a formulation. The four main objectives in formulation are: to stabilize the propagules; to make a user-friendly product; to protect the propagule, once applied; and to minimize risks of exposure to the applicator. Formulation considerations are presented per formulation function as well as per type of pathogen. Field testing is a key phase in the product development which links all steps in the developmental process. It provides information on the efficacy of the selected strain, on the quality of the produced propagules, on the formulation, on the optimal application strategy, on efficacy that is necessary for registration, on compatibility, on the implementation of the product in an IPM system, and on the marketability of the final product. The method of field testing is crucial and should reflect "real world" conditions. A cost price model for biopesticides is provided with cost factors involved from production to product, and from product to market. The model provides a perspective on the makeup of the end-user's price and all the costs that must be considered to achieve a profitable business. In the conclusion, production and formulation considerations and recommendations for a economically feasible production are presented. Economy of scale, full use of the production capacity, and capacity planning are essential factors to keep the costs low.

W.J. Ravensberg, A Roadmap to the Successful Development and Commercialization 59

of Microbial Pest Control Products for Control of Arthropods, Progress in Biological Control 10, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-0437-4_3, © Springer Science+Business MediaB.V. 2011

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