Microbial Pest Control Products

Numerous microbial pest control products for control of arthropod pests have been developed in the past and are developed at present. In theory, they offer one of the most sustainable and ecologically acceptable means of crop protection for modern agriculture. Generally, they are intended to replace synthetic chemical pesticides as our society requires sustainable pest control solutions that are safe to humans and to the environment. Research on new biocontrol agents, frequently initiated by academic scientists, promises elegant solutions. Companies translate these research results into the development of a commercial product. Many of these new products, however, do not become successful in the market, and companies fail to achieve a profitable business. Annual sales of microbial pesticides are reported to be $750 million globally, amounting only to 2.5% of the chemical market (Evans 2008). An imperative question is whether it is possible to identify the obstacles and constraints to the development of a reliable, efficacious and commercially-viable product? Can the currently frustrating situation be improved? I believe that successful products can be developed when a rational and structured pathway is followed for the entire

W.J. Ravensberg, A Roadmap to the Successful Development and Commercialization 1

of Microbial Pest Control Products for Control of Arthropods, Progress in Biological Control 10, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-0437-4_1, © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

process of development and commercialization of a microbial pest control product. A model describing such a pathway has not been presented to date. In this study I will critically evaluate the situation at present from a commercial perspective, and propose a systematic model that will guide future product developers to a successful microbial product for control of arthropod pests. For terms and definitions used, see Appendix at the end of this chapter. For acronyms and abbreviations used, see List of Acronyms and Abbreviations.

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