Improving food security in Australia and India

Annually, between a quarter and a third of global grain harvest is lost, much of it to insect pests. Cost-effective and practical management of these pests is critical for food security and the grain industry internationally.

Phosphine gas fumigation is a cheap method of control used in stored grain facilities. However, poor fumigation practices can lead to phosphine resistance, a big problem for which there is currently no alternative.

Our AISRF project, led by UQ and partnered with India’s Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, conducted the first national survey of phosphine resistance in the world. 

The project:

  • validated affordable, sustainable and environmentally safe pest control methods using phosphine
  • developed cheap and quick genetic identification of phosphine-resistant insect populations for remediation
  • discovered that phosphine-resistant insects are less likely to disperse by flight than susceptible ones, a development with implications for effective fumigation and resistance management strategies.

This collaboration has allowed both countries to improve their food security, grain marketability and biosecurity.

See our impact

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