Pest activity has been one of the major problems facing sustainable crop production and food sustainability. Small-scale farmers run into losses as well as potential health issues through improper use of synthetic pesticides for the control of these noxious creatures. These synthetic pesticides may also affect the health of our soil. These issues pose a question to me – what can I do to successfully deal with these pests especially during storage at a low cost, sustain the health of our environment and increase crop production?
During the course of my industrial training in 2016, I discovered that neem tree extract, apart from its medicinal attribute, also has the ability to control pests both in the field and in storage. I used a treatment of neem tree extract on the early stages of a green pepper plot that was being attacked by leaf miner. And my discovery was amazing. Not only that the pest was controlled; the plant growth was enhanced as shown in the attached picture.
Wood ash contains oxides and hydroxides of calcium, magnesium, potassium and, to a lesser extent, sodium making wood ash similar to burned or hydrated lime in its mode of action. Wood ash also contains many of the nutrients originally absorbed from the soil by tree growth, so it may improve crop growth through improved nutrition. By comparison, agricultural lime contains only minimal amounts of plant nutrients. A significant amount of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium (potash) is added to the soil when wood ash is used as a liming material.
Therefore, as I have started integrating wood ash into neem powder to form a powerful combination in bringing an organic solution to soil pest control and soil acidity. I want to note that the raw materials for these two components are readily available and the cost implication does not pose any challenge in developing the formulation that I call ORGANIC FERTINOPESTICIDE.
This is a sustainable and environmental-friendly innovation. I am looking forward to collaborating with relevant stakeholders, including packaging industries to formulate, produce and package this ORGANIC FERTINOPESTICIDE and then work with extensions agents to introduce it to the end users especially the small scale farmers.
ORGANIC FERTINOPESTICIDE does not have any negative effect on the environment rather it boosts the health of the soil as well as the plant. It can also be used as a storage pesticide as the neem content functions in this regard.
This innovation will have a positive social impact with respect to job creation in production and marketing of the product and when jobs are created, poverty to some extent is being eradicated. It is also a contribution to scientific innovations.
I am very motivated and passionate about ORGANIC FERTINOPESTICIDE because the two components of the formulation are not hard to get. They are readily available within my locale and it will not cost as much as the convention organic pesticide which controls only pests in most cases Making this a reality within a few months will not be a problem when adequate funding is provided. The gain for my community is quite enormous as it will provide solution to soil acidity, soil nutrient deficiency, on-field and off-field(storage) pest control.
Nwachikere Gideon Chukwuma, Nigeria