Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests: From Research to Field Implementation

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In addition, many part-time growers have other sources of income. Cox et al. The findings suggest that collective action is easier to achieve when horticulture growers have fairly homogenous on-farm objectives, such as in Central Burnett.

To address QFly risk from non-commercial land, the Central Burnett shows that small town communities are helpful as it is more feasible to implement QFly management for them. Although there is some ambiguity in literature about the impact of hetereogeneity, generally speaking, it is seen as presenting challenges to collective action Ostrom Heterogeneity complicates achieving proportional equivalence between benefits and costs, i. This challenges decision-making Valentinov and adds to the transaction cost of achieving consensus Ostrom ; Chaddad and Iliopoulos It affects whether locals perceive rules as fair, an important condition for gaining support for local institutions.


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Identifying who is gaining from biosecurity measures, to what extent and therefore who ought to contribute most, is not always evident Donaldson For example, the ratio of who benefits most from area-wide management depends on whether the scheme is accepted by international markets to the point that it makes post-harvest treatments, such as cold sterilisation, obsolete. That is, wealthy members sometimes accept a disproportionate economic responsibility to ensure the success of collective action provided the benefit they gain from it justifies their actions Jones If the number of risk contributors who have little to benefit from QFly management greatly outweighs the number of main beneficiaries — usually full-time, commercial growers — it is not feasible for these growers to pick-up the cost of QFly management for other risk contributors.

For example, in Central Burnett there are around 60 growers keen to export.

The towns are relatively small with Gayndah having residents and Munduberra residents in ABS In the Riverina, by contrast, growers focused on the export market form a minority of the total of citrus growers. This area includes the large regional centre of Griffith with a population of 17, residents in , as well as Leeton with residents and Hillston with residents ABS There was also evidence of congruence of appropriation and provision rules with local social and environmental conditions, the second part of principle 2 Cox et al.

In all case studies those involved in QFly management intensified control activities at certain times of the year in conjunction with times of peak QFly pressure, or when the pest can cause most damage.

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Promoting Area-Wide Management of Key Insect Pests

The deployment of traps to monitor of QFly pressure plays a key role here. Finding and implementing ways where most of those affected by the local institutions have their views represented can be challenging principle 3 — collective choice arrangements. As demonstrated in the case studies, relationships play a facilitating role. In Central Burnett, engagement with those affected by decisions happens in a number of ways. First, the area-wide management program was developed in a participatory fashion with significant input and involvement of growers.

Hence, the program was designed in a way that was appropriate for local socio-economic, cultural and political contexts Pretty ; Gonsalves Second, existing relationships between growers and crop consultants imply strong ties between growers and the management committee. Collective choice arrangements also mean that management committees need to enjoy legitimacy and credibility with different local groups in order to influence their behaviour. This is again obscured in the Riverina, due to fragmentation resulting from the large variety of horticulture industries and tension within the citrus industry relating to the demise of Riverina Citrus.

This implies that Riverina Biosecurity as a start might benefit from greater representation across different sections within the local citrus industry to consolidate industry support, as opposed to the current high representation of external bodies.

In contrast, town residents are more likely to feel QFly requirements are imposed on them when they are being asked to purchase treatments and invest time and effort indefinitely to maintain their fruit trees.


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  • The true cost of effective community and grower engagement to underpin collective choice arrangement can be easily underestimated. Pest management presents the added challenge that when control activities are most cost-effective, i.

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    This has been the past experience in the Young-Harden case study. The importance of monitoring principle 4 has been described in the area-wide management literature Vreysen et al. Monitoring of QFly pressure was evident in all case studies, with varying numbers of traps under surveillance on-farm and in towns. Sharing and collating data from different traps can assist in developing a clearer picture of QFly behaviour across the region. However, some respondents reported that information generated by state government traps did not reach all interested parties.

    The case studies reveal a number of ways of using existing channels that could be helpful. In the Riverina, some packhouses insist on proof of QFly management. Some believed that other reluctant packhouses might follow suit if QFly pressure increased and started to affect their supply. State government-issued legislation that enforces compliance was complicated for a number of reasons. However, enforcement is thwarted by a lack of resources for consistent compliance monitoring. NSW DPI representative also pointed out that a heavy-handed approach of imposing fines on non-complying residents poses a moral dilemma, especially when people have limited ability to comply.

    This also conflicts with the need for implementing graduated sanctions. Overall there was limited evidence of graduated sanctions principle 5. Dyck et al. These requirements should form part of an official agreement between stakeholders, rather than an agreement between friends. In Central Burnett, the indirect tactic to publicly thank contributing growers and thereby expose non-contributors had some success in gaining renewed commitment from some to support the town treatments.

    This system represents a second-order reward or a positive sanction, where those who are cooperating are rewarded in order to provide an incentive for defectors to also cooperate. Rewards work better than punishment as they increase the average payoff for the group, whereas punishment lowers the average payoff for the group Kiyonari and Barclay However, as this tactic was not built into the program early-on there is a risk that violators will perceive it as a punishment, as the feedback from one respondent reflects.

    Support from state government agencies and peak industry bodies go some way in meeting the principle of nested enterprises principle 8. However, it seems that with international market access the nested approach become unstuck. Market integration can impede successful collective action due to its influence on local incentive structures and power relations Cox et al. For example, trade protocols provide detailed requirements to manage pest risks on-farm and throughout the supply chain.

    Several growers lamented that protocols by importing countries sometimes present impractical and not necessarily effective ways to prevent pest infestation, but they need to abide by them in order to be permitted to access export markets.

    Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Principles

    This can interfere with adaptive management on the ground, i. In the area of pest management for market access the state plays many institutional roles that widen the power differential between the state and growers. As regulator, the state increasingly shapes national and state biosecurity policies to reflect international trade regulations, such as those set by the WTO, rather than solely basing policies on the needs of growers Wissemann et al.

    The state enforces many of the national and international trade requirements, including inspections, auditing and accreditations. However, it is also a partner in assisting growers to overcome pest issues; for example, by providing resources for research and on-ground activities, advice about the technical aspects of QFly management and market access requirements. Unsurprisingly, many respondents mentioned that government needed to play an enabling role in achieving industry-driven area-wide management.

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    In particular, respondents want government to actively promote area-wide management as a suitable phytosanitary measure as part of a systems approach during market access negotiations, in order to overcome the need for cold sterilisation. However, market access experts explained that, despite formal allowance in the ISPMs for systems approaches, in reality these are problematic.

    In particular, demonstrating the combined efficacy of different QFly management techniques throughout the supply chain is difficult. Factors mentioned that hamper progress on the ground included high government staff turnover, slow government processes, the difficulty of reaching the right government official to talk to and apathy to grower needs, such as government officials who may attend meetings but are not truly engaged.

    This work shows that, unlike the age-old concept of pest control, the concept of biosecurity and the related national and international plant protection institutional frameworks are attached to certain worldviews Donaldson and Wood These are embedded in paradigms of neoliberalism, the dominance of market forces, standardisation Dibden et al.

    In particular, control of human behaviour is seen as the key mechanism to achieve desired outcomes Donaldson and Wood in a realm that, in practice involves a complex interplay between the environment, host plants, humans and the problematic organism, here QFly Hinchliffe et al. Although this status-quo clearly has weaknesses and is increasingly critiqued Donaldson and Wood ; Dibden et et al.