Fighting bugs with bugs in French farming
SCRIPT Using insects instead of chemical insecticides to kill undesirable bugs is the business of this company in southern France. It sells 100 billion insects every year to environmentally-conscious customers who want to ban chemicals from farming and gardening. Despite some concerns about its impact on biodiversity, the insect-versus-insect business is booming. SOUNDBITE 1 Marc Vignau, Managing Director, Biotop (French, 17 sec): "We basically target three groupS: professional farmers, city councils who manage urban green spaces and, more recently, the growing retail market where there is strong demand for alternative solutions." Cyril Vignon swears by such alternative solutions. He's a farmer, growing organic fruit and ancient vegetable types. For five years now, insects have been his weapon of choice to fight unwanted bugs. SOUNDBITE 2 Cyril Vignon, Farmer (French, 19 sec): "We use bumble bees for pollination in strawberry and tomato fields, and then we let loose the auxiliary insects which eat the harmful insects, mostly lice, mites and thunderflies." At a cost of about 100 euros to treat an average greenhouse, this protection does not come cheap compared to synthetic solutions. SOUNDBITE 3 Cyril Vignon, Farmer (French, 9 sec): "It's a bit more expensive than chemicals, but you get results and we care for our health, and that's priceless." Humming along nicely on annual sales of five million euros, Biotop now wants to diversify -- into insect-killing mushrooms. ________________________________________________ SHOTLIST: DATE: JULY 24, 2013 LOCATION: LIVRON-SUR-DROME, France SOURCE: AFPTV - VAR ladybirds - VAR biologists with insects SOUNDBITE 1 - VAR Farmer placing insects on plants SOUNDBITE 2 - VAR Farmer SOUNDBITE 3 - VAR outside shots of company
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