MARKUP program is keen on promoting food safety along the whole value chain; from production to consumption. Among the ways of promoting food safety that this program will employ, is creating awareness on safe use of pesticides as well as trainings on Integrated Pest Management (IPM). We spoke to Dr. Nehemiah Mihindo, an Entomologist and the CEO of Africa Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Alliance, who gave us several sustainable ways of managing selected common pests.
Almost all crops are affected by aphids, only that the pests are often different species. However, aphids like areas which have water-stress. Therefore, one way of eliminating them is to ensure water availability.
Onions, especially the spring variety, have a strong aroma which repels aphids.
Farmers should also ensure their soil is fertile by applying enough manure, as fertile soils will enhance healthy crops, which can withstand attack by aphids.
Introducing parasitic wasps which lay eggs into the aphids. The eggs then hatch, producing young ones which feed on the aphids.
Another way is by spraying the crop with a lime and sulphur, which is a mixture of the two ingredients.
Spraying the aphids with water mixed with tephrosia vogelii leaves water solution inhibits the pests’ thinking, thus, leading to their death. Tephrosia Vogelii is a plant commonly known as fish poison bean.
Diamond Black moth
This is a moth that mostly feeds on vegetables, leaving something that looks like a spider web.
A lime and sulphur mixture, in water kills it.
Application of water is another way of controlling this pest, as it is not able to feed under wet condition.
Another way is by planting repellant crops such as coriander and onions, whose smell is so strong that it sends the pest away.
Application of a pawpaw leaves solution kills diamond black moth, as the leaves have a killing chemical.
There are two main methods of managing this pest.
The first is use of pheromone traps, which have a special scent that attracts males, thus reducing population as there is no reproduction.
Another way is by use of sticky traps, whose catchy colour attract male white flies, which stick on the sticky traps.
Pheromone traps work well in eradication of fruit flies. The traps have a special smell, which attract the male fruit flies, into a set trap, usually a container. While the males are trapped, it means that there is minimal reproduction, thus, little multiplication of the pest.
Farmers are also advised to clear bushes around their farms, like mango orchards, as bushes are a host to fruit flies.
To fight termites, mix a solution of tobacco leaves and spray on your crops. You will need to boil, for 30 minutes, one kilogram of the leaves in five liters of water. Then dilute the solution at one portion of the solution to two portions of water. Add soap to act as a sticker. You will then need to find where the queen is and pour the solution where the queen is.
Another method is by use of a mixture of aloe ferox extract and ethanol. This solution is then poured on the anthill to drive away termites.