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Data from: Ecological pest control fortifies agricultural growth in Asia-Pacific economies

Citation

Wyckhuys, Kris (2020), Data from: Ecological pest control fortifies agricultural growth in Asia-Pacific economies , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.547d7wm45

Abstract

The Green Revolution is credited with alleviating famine, mitigating poverty and driving aggregate economic growth since the 1960s. In Asia, high-input technology packages secured a tripling of rice output, with germplasm improvements providing benefits beyond US$ 4.3 billion/year. Here, we unveil the magnitude and macro-economic relevance of parallel nature-based contributions to productivity growth in non-rice crops over 1918-2018 (covering 23 different Asia-Pacific geopolitical entities). We empirically demonstrate how biological control resolved invasive pest threats in multiple agricultural commodities, ensuring annually-accruing (on-farm) benefits of US$ 14.6-19.5 billion/year. Scientifically-guided biological control of 43 exotic invertebrate pests permitted 73-100% yield-loss recovery in critical food, feed and fiber crops including banana, breadfruit, cassava and coconut. Biological control thereby promoted rural growth and prosperity even in marginal, poorly-endowed, non-rice environments. By placing agro-ecological innovations on equal footing with input-intensive measures, our work provides lessons for future efforts to mitigate invasive species, restore ecological resilience and sustainably raise output of global agri-food systems.