Orienting insecticide research in the tropics to meet the sustainable development goals

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, 2020, Pages 24-30, ISSN 2214-5745
Quentin Struelens, Pierre Silvie

Tropical cropping systems are highly dependent on synthetic insecticides, which generates sustainability issues. We performed a bibliometric analysis of the current insecticide literature (2017–2019) and used the Sustainable Development Goals roadmap to identify research topics in insecticide research that should be promoted to attain sustainable cropping systems. Bioinsecticides and integrated pest management were identified as potential substitutes for synthetic insecticides while insecticide contamination, degradation and impacts on non-target organisms were pinpointed as topics with the potential to lessen detrimental effects of synthetic insecticides. We also highlighted how peculiarities specific to the tropics (tropical climate, high biodiversity, strong traditional knowledge, insecticide regulations, lack of local scientific data, and farmer training through extension services) affect the identified research topics and why they should be taken into account. We finally suggest to combine the identified research topics in order to promote research synergies across disciplines.