Bioeconomics at Work

Bioeconomic Control of Invasive Species: Example of Prosopis Species

The Prosopis Species is invasive plant, which can cause great damage to agricultural land and the ecology of the area. To get rid of this plant requires money for herbicides and labour. However, a useful way to keep it under control and prevent its propagation is to exploit for human use the various parts of the plant in a bioeconomic way:

  • -Biology: prevents land degradation and encourages biodiversity by being useful to flora and fauna (food and refuge.)

  • - Biology: The Prosopis species is very resistant to drought and is planted in the deserts to prevent desertification and encroachment of sand by forming a green belt.

  • - Economics: pods are rich in protein and CHOs and are useful for animal feed. Also, they can be crushed to produce flour to make bread and biscuits for human consumption.

  • - Flowers of the Prosopis species are used by bees to produce savoury honey.

  • - Economics: Wood of the Prosopis species are hard and are good for furniture and for enclosures.

Biocontrol is one way to eradicate or to keep invasive species under control. How- ever, this is not recommended due damage to human health and to the environment. A better way is an integrated bioeconomic management, which would encourage both the biological and economic characteristics of the plants.

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