|Push and Pull: an efective strtegy for controling African Stemborer|
The Stemborer Busseola fusca is Africa’s worst corn pest. In combination with the Striga weed it can destroy whole crops. The International Research Institute ICIPE in Kenya, together with local farmers, developed a successful Push-and-Pull strategy: In this strategy farmers plant three rows of the fodder grass Napier around the corn
field. Napier grass has a chemical aroma that attracts the Stemborer
larvae out of the corn crop. Most of them are killed in the sticky sap
of the Napier grass. Farmers also plant the legume Desmodium, between
the rows of corn, which exudes a chemical aroma that repels Stemborers.
Desmodium also suppresses Striga. It is a perfect strategy which provides healthy corn, additional feed and protection
for the soil.
Field Guide to Non-Chemical Pest Management on Corn Production
Another approach to control the Stemborer is genetically engineered Bt-corn: This corn, with genes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (bt), produces a toxin to combat the stemborer. The Swiss multinational company Syngenta started a project with Bt-maize in Kenya, together with a Kenyan Institute. The risks to nature and to people are being proved by science and experience of rural farmers every day. The investment of lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems into this technology should be stopped.
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