A natural pesticide from tephrosia
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CTA. 2008. A natural pesticide from tephrosia. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57146
How to make a natural pesticide from tephrosia, chilli and soap
A natural pesticide from tephrosia Cue: When insect pests strike a crop, farmers like to act quickly, to prevent the whole crop being lost. Spraying a chemical pesticide is frequently their first thought, a way of hitting the problem hard and easing their fears of a lost harvest. But chemicals do have disadvantages. They are expensive, and farmers may have to travel some distance to buy them. They can also store up problems for future seasons, by killing the beneficial insects and soil organisms that help to maintain a healthy and productive field. There is also the danger to human health, if chemicals are used incorrectly, or without proper equipment. An alternative approach is for farmers to make their own environmentally friendly pesticides, using locally available plants and resources. For example, it is possible to kill aphids and caterpillars using a pesticide made from the leaves of a shrub which is found throughout Africa. Godfrey Kiyoge, training manager at the Katende Harambee Training Centre in Kampala, explained more to Pius Sawa. IN: ?If we want to say kill aphids ? OUT: ? they are environmentally friendly.? DUR?N: 4?34? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Godfrey Kiyoge, explaining the benefits of a natural pesticide made using leaves of the tephrosia plant. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Kigoye If we want to say kill aphids, we want to kill caterpillars that always attack our cabbages and other crops, you can only go and get tephrosia. Tephrosia is a kind of a shrub which grows there in the field. So you just get the leaves, you crush them, you measure the amount that you have got. If we have got, say, one jug of crushed tephrosia, you put in five jugs of water. That is enough, do not further dilute. Then you get five hundred grams of hot chilli, you crush it, you boil it to the boiling point, then remove it from the fire. You get a piece of soap, thirty grams of soap, equivalent to a matchbox. This time we do not use blue soap which is acidic, we just use yellow soap, laundry soap, and then you dissolve it in the solution, you leave it to cool, then you spray on crops. Sawa And can you say this tephrosia is available everywhere in Africa where any rural farmer can access it? Kigoye I can say in Africa here, tephrosia is everywhere and is a shrub which grows in the bush there. Sawa And how long does it take to prepare this chemical? Kigoye To prepare this it takes only 30 to 50 minutes but because we lack preservatives it takes two days and then it expires. Sawa Which means a farmer in a rural place can manufacture a pesticide in the morning and he uses it within two days? Kigoye Within two days, yes, he can or she can use it. We are trying, we are doing research to see how we can preserve the pesticide for a longer period of time. We have come up with a solution, we can use bottlebrush in Luganda they call it nyamba laztonya If you add in that bottlebrush it can last something like five days or more, but we are still doing more research on this so that we can get a pesticide that can last maybe two weeks. Sawa And what amount of pesticide should one spray on a crop? Kigoye Amount, I can say it depends on the size of the crop. If it?s a cabbage you just need something like a 100 mls. Sometimes also we can use local ways because some farmers could not afford to buy spray pumps or what. So you can get a broom and than you dip it in the solution and then you sprinkle on the plant. When you are doing that, you make sure that, you know some of these insects hide inside the leaves. They are not on top, they know that they are thieves. So when you are spraying, you just apply at the behind side of the leaf so that you can kill the aphids and other caterpillars. These animals or insects they are categorised in three. We have the chewing pests, we have the sucking pests and then we have the stinging pests. So when you are applying this kind of solution you have to understand what type of pests are attacking the crops. If it?s a stinging pest, they always attack or they always hide inside the leaves and they always stick on the leaves so what you do you just smear or you just sprinkle. You put the leaves upside down and then you sprinkle the solution. Sawa How many times should you keep on applying to the crop? Kigoye It depends on, if it is a rainy season you need to repeat at least every three, four days but if it is in the drought season you just spray once in a week. Sawa How has this pesticide helped a person who cannot, maybe who does not know it, how can it help someone? Kigoye It can help someone, if you do not have enough money to purchase say these toxic chemicals, the ambushes, the dimethoates, every farmer can afford, they are cheap. Secondly they improve on soil fertility. Some of these, the residues you get out of this when you put it somewhere they decompose and form fertiliser. It is not like the other toxic chemicals where you put them. Yes, they can serve the purpose for that particular period but in the long run they kill the natural, all the soil-living organisms. So they are very cheap and then they are environmentally friendly. End of track