Basically, this is more of an idea for sustainable crop protection than an innovation/project that I feel is quite significant to share so as to drastically lessen or terminate excessive crop losses in storage without the use of synthetic chemicals.
The method involves using dried Hyeptis spicigera inflorescence. The inflorescence will be crushed to a powdery or chaff after which it will then be applied to grain crops such as cowpea, maize that are stored in granaries or silos. The quantity of the crushed inflorescence is relative to the quantity of the grain being stored.
The application is done by spreading the chaff/powder at every superimposition layer of grain loaded in the storage system. After a quantity of the grain is poured into the storage the chaff/powder is then spread in a specified quantity. This is to enhance effectiveness of the organic substance. The Hyeptis spicigera inflorescence works by exerting an irritative repellent on insect pests such as brochids and weevils. Grain stored with this weed’s dried inflorescent will be free from those pests.
My innovative practice and approach can be disseminated further if I had more specific training as a crop scientist. My research would be aimed to make sure that crops are well and harmlessly stored through the application of more organic means.
I’m confident of the socio-economic impact of this idea because, it saves time, it is not financially demanding, it can be practiced by a layman, the weed is available and easily accessed in rural areas and also is nontoxic/harmless.
To make the innovation sustainable, I will study the weed’s climatic requirements, cultural practices (which is within 3-4 months) and also develop a more advanced and quantifiable method of application. The beneficiaries will be farmers, those that want to go into farming as a business, and everyone that eats food to survive. If this idea is put into practice globally, it can guarantee that post harvest crop loss of cereals and legumes such as cowpea, soybeans and groundnuts will be reduced. This can ensure the availability of food and safety from toxic synthetic chemicals. I hope to attain about 80-90% success with regards to this idea. This idea will widely inspire farmers to farm without fear of post harvest crop loss. Some farmers will start cultivating the weeds and sell it as a source of income thereby minimizing or even eradicating poverty.
The passion I have for this idea is because there are farmers who, due to ineffective and inefficient methods of storage, are losing income. Moreover, I have a concern on the side effects of synthetic storage chemicals. My sole gain in this whole exercise is “getting satisfaction”. This is because, farmers should practice a newly trusted and sustainable crop protection method for storage. For communal and/ or societal gain the idea will increase and enhance the crop storage capacity and food availability of people’s livelihoods. Therefore, I look forward for the implementation of this authentic idea. Thank you.
Benson Degima Yohanna, Nigeria