Spices control chickpea pests
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CTA. 1993. Spices control chickpea pests. Spore 48. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49277
Coriander and egrets are helping chickpea farmers in India to control pests that have developed resistance to pesticides. Chickpea leaves and pods naturally exude an acid that usually keeps pests away. Recently. though, the pod borer (Helicoverpa...
Coriander and egrets are helping chickpea farmers in India to control pests that have developed resistance to pesticides. Chickpea leaves and pods naturally exude an acid that usually keeps pests away. Recently. though, the pod borer (Helicoverpa armigera) has developed tolerance to this natural defensive system, and the borer has also become resistant to most pesticides. Unfortunately, the same defensive system makes chickpeas inhospitable plants for beneficial insects' posing problems for an effective biological control strategy. However, researchers at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) have devised an effective integrated pest management (IPM) programme. First they suggested growing chickpeas in wider rows than usual so that egrets can walk down the rows and pick off the pod borer caterpillars. The next step was to get the pod borer's natural enemies to move into the crop. The flowers of umbelliferous plants, like coriander, form platforms that grow up above the plants which are preferred sites for insects. who use them to bask in the sun and drink the nectar. By intercropping with coriander, parasitic insects are provided with a platform from which they can attack the pod borer without coming into contact with the acid exudates. Another pan of the IPM strategy is to plant different types of chickpeas. ICRISAT researchers have some chickpea varieties that exude more potent acid but are lower yielding. Mixed with high yielding varieties, however, they can help to slow down the progress of the pod borer. Using this IPM strategy, farmers could expect to improve yields from 600kg/ha to over 2t/ha. ICRISAT Patancheru Andhra Pradesh 502 324 INDIA