Tiny wasps, Mealybug and Cassava

An army of a quarter million South American tiny wasps (Anagyrus Lopezi), released into Thailand’s mealybug affected cassava crops, began their work on a silent way.

According to Thailand’s Agricultural ministry, the experiment has worked successfully to thwart a pest decimating one of the country’s largest food exports.

Entomologists deployed the first batch over the weekend in a campaign to eradicate a plague of mealybugs that threatens crops in Khon Kaen province in northeastern Thailand.

The mealybugs, a recognized enemy of cassava crops in South America and Africa from three decades ago, have arrived in Asia.

Scientists confirmed the spread of the cassava mealybug to about 200,000 hectares of farmland in eastern and north-eastern Thailand in late 2009.

The wasps, each smaller than a pinhead will be released in pairs, home in on the mealybugs, piercing and laying their eggs inside them. The larvae devour the mealybugs from within, emerging in a few days from their mummified shells to seek new hosts.

The use of wasps, which has been effective in Africa, is expected to also succeed in Thailand, the world’s leading exporter of cassava, which is also known as manioc, tapioca and yucca.

Early signs of mealybug infestation have been reported in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Thailand’s neighbors.

Thailand, the third largest producer of cassava, after Nigeria and Brazil, accounts for 60 percent of worldwide exports of the root, which is used in foods like noodles, the flavor-enhancer monosodium glutamate and products including toothpaste.

The mealybugs, with a life cycle of about a month, can spread quickly, with each insect laying an average of 440 eggs and producing 10 generations in a year. The bugs feed on the tips of cassava plants, stunting their growth with toxic saliva.

The threat to Thailand’s $1.5 billion cassava industry emerged in force last year, when 20 to 25 percent of the crop was destroyed, frightening farmers and driving up prices.

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Donat Cassava

350 gr high protein flour
200 gr of cassava flour
50 gr milk powder
15 gr instant yeast
250 gr potatoes, steamed, mashed
100 gr sugar
75 gr butter
¼ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
100 ml ice water
oil for frying

100 gr dark cooking chocolate
100 g white cooking chocolate
50 gr almond slices, toasted briefly

How to Make:

  1. Mix the cassava starch, flour, sugar, milk powder, instant yeast, mix well. Enter a smooth potatoes, eggs and ice water and knead until blended and smooth.
  2. Add butter and salt. Knead again until smooth. Dough rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce dough, the dough of each 10 gr. Round it off. Let stand again for 20 minutes, until fluffy double that of the original.
  4. Heat oil over low heat, grab a donut dough, then form rings, enter in the cooking oil while inverted until cooked and golden brown color. Lift.
  5. After chilling, dip the donuts into the white chocolate or dark cooking chocolate cooking, sprinkle with almond slices wait until hard.

For 25 pieces

cassava flour used in these recipes are not the same as tapioca flour. Cassava flour is made from dried cassava roots into flour and mashed so. In the market is usually called cassava flour.

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