Perches help birds to kill pests
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CTA. 1993. Perches help birds to kill pests. Spore 46. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49185
Perches are attracting insect eating birds to crops of groundnut in India. A farmer in the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh has found that by making it easier for birds to spot insects in his crop he is able to reduce his need for chemical...
Perches are attracting insect eating birds to crops of groundnut in India. A farmer in the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh has found that by making it easier for birds to spot insects in his crop he is able to reduce his need for chemical pesticides. The farmer, Mr G Appaji, was persuaded by scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to give up using chemical pesticides for one season. It was part of ICRISAT's programme to persuade farmers to encourage natural enemies of pests. At the end of the season Mr Appaji was amazed and delighted to find that his yields were equal to those of his neighbour's fields in which chemicals had been used. But his profit was higher than that achieved by his neighbour since he had not spent any money on chemicals. Mr Appaji noticed that birds were attracted to his field and were picking up insects, but he felt that the birds were finding it difficult to spot insects because groundnuts are so low-growmg. Perches built 20cm above the crop, gave the birds a perfect vantage point from which to spot their prey. Farmers in the area have copied the idea and now over 400 hectares of groundnuts have bird perches. It is estimated that farmers are saving over 1 million rupees which would otherwise have been spent on chemicals, and yields are as good as they have ever been. ICRISAT Patancheru Andhra Pradesh 502 324 INDIA