|Quiet Revolutionaries - A Look at the Campaign by Agricultural Scientists to Fight Hunger (WB)|
And as for the fight against the green mite, that too is-going well. "We are nearing a solution," Lukas grader, IITA'S director-general, announced in late 1992. The green mite eats the cassava leaves and can cause up to 80 percent yield reduction in infested fields. The natural predator is another mite that feeds on the green mite. Herren believes that a similar air-release operation that he used against the mealybugs could work, even though the predator mites are wingless, so they have to be released in more .sites and their progression is much slower than the wasp's. It would be a bigger and more costly operation.
He seems to have lost that battle, and the way forward will probably be with ground releases only, organized by national programs. "It'll take more time. Maybe we'll reach more people. Maybe a more longer-lasting effect because we're going to stain more people. It doesn't have to be bad, but the speed will be much slower," he said philosophically.
And then of course, there are thrips and burrowing bugs and shooflies and . . .