Azadionona extract as an organic protection of tomatoes against late blight

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is considered to be a top priority crop and it is the main income generating vegetable in Uganda. It is grown and consumed all over the country. Tomato production faces a major constraint of late blight, a fungal disease caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans which leads to reduced yield of the crop thus limiting its production. It is therefore on this note that I gained interest in formulating an organic pesticide to control the fungus. The azadinona extract is a pesticide formulated from Neem (Azadirachta indica) and soursop (Annona muricata) leaves which contain azadirachtin and squamocin respectively; and these active ingredients are known to have antifungal components that can thus be used in the control of late blight of tomato.

This organic formulation is expected to be environmentally friendly that is to say, it will have no residual effect on the environment since it is readily biodegradable. The pesticide also has no phytotoxic properties hence making it safe for the consumers of the tomatoes as compared to the inorganic pesticides such as dithane M-45. The neem and soursop leaves are readily available in most communities in Uganda thus making it easy for most farmers to prepare the formulation for use in their gardens. This pesticide is also expected to be much cheaper compared to the inorganic pesticides thus making it easy for the rural peasant farmers to increase production of their tomatoes at a reduced cost of production. Lastly, this pesticide does not require a lot of knowledge and skill and equally restrictions during its preparation as well as application thus making it easy to use for the farmers who are illiterate to use the technology.

To achieve more innovative practices and approaches in sustainable crop protection, I intend to do more research and get trainings on crop pests and diseases as well as the best and most feasible sustainable crop protection approaches specifically laying much emphasis on organic control approaches. To develop this idea in sustainable crop protection I intend to carryout experimental trials in demonstration plots to obtain accurate results and then disperse this knowledge/idea to tomato farmers in my community through training individual farmer groups as well as through use of media like radio stations to reach out to more farmers on the steps involved in making the pesticide, as well as the frequency of application and expected results.

This organic pesticide is expected to have a number of social economic impacts and these include: increased production of tomatoes and other solanaceous plants due to the reduced incidence of the blight disease thus increasing farmers’ income; poverty eradication among the rural communities, 80% of which are farmers, due to increased sale of the tomatoes; employment opportunities for other members of the community in the production of the pesticide as well as on the tomato farms and finally skill development in organic crop pest and disease control among the farming communities in my country starting from my home district, Gulu.

The beneficiaries of this idea will be the farmers in my community especially the tomato farmers who will have a long lasting, affordable and readily available solution to the main and most pressing constraint to tomato production in Uganda. The consumers of tomatoes in my community will also benefit from the safe, chemical free tomato fruits that they will purchase from the farmers who will have adopted this idea.

My greatest motivation in coming up with this idea is to create a difference in my community especially among the rural peasant farmers who are trying to make a living from growing solanaceous plants like tomatoes and potatoes, since they are more valuable vegetables by availing them with an affordable and readily available technology. Furthermore, my passion in ensuring that our environment remains sustainable for the generations to come as well as reducing the impact of chemical/ inorganic pesticides on the health of consumers of agricultural products especially solanaceous plants which are widely consumed in almost every household in my country has also prompted me to try out this idea and put it to practice. My gain from this idea is that it will give me an opportunity to make my first publication on organic crop protection and also give me a chance and platform to interact with other leaders in crop protection as well as bring a positive change in the lives of rural farmers in my community. My community will gain from this idea through improved production of solanaceous plants hence increased household income for the farming communities and thus improved livelihoods.

Atimango Alice Onek, Uganda

53 comments

  1. This is a very practical solution to the problem of late blight faced by our resource-limited tomato farmers in rural Uganda.
    I highly commend you Madam Alice. These are the projects we need our indigenous scientists to come up with.
    They make agriculture sustainable as wished by all those who care about the current and the future generations.
    Keep going on please.
    God bless you
    Abonyo Ceaser Steven
    (BSc. Agric.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou Caesar, we still have a lot of potential in our environment that we can use for sustainable crop protection. We just need to be a little more innovative.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always questioned why tomatoes in the market is whitish with pawder on them till I was told that, it was the chemical for treatment. I was also told not to eat it as the chemical is a health hazard. How many people are eating this chemical and are in health risk?
    This innovation is the answer but the challenge will be to popularize it to farmers. How I wish your idea is bought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow I like the innovation Atimango Alice Onek. Organic farming is really risk free and cheaper for our local farmers, so we need such projects as they lose less harm to the environment compared to inorganic chemicals.

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  4. This is a good start Ms Atimango. Am one of those that have witnessed your moulding first hand and as such believe in your ability to make a mark in agricultural research and innovation. Carry on. I will share this with important people I know, sure you will get positive and guiding remarks. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow…..this is a Great ideal project Alice…
    I love the writeup….

    Like other sectors such as health, education or public security for example, the agricultural sector and the activities carried out in its delivery, has its own characteristics and peculiarities. From its infancy over several years ago, agriculture has been about people – how they respond to their changing environment in ways that allow them to survive, organize, develop technologies, evolve socially, and prosper. Since its modest beginnings, the agricultural sector has become increasingly complex and multi-faceted. The challenges agriculture faces today are to mention but few; seasonal changes, pests and diseases, changing market prices e.t.c and how to fight feed the world population in an equitable manner while protecting the environment from irreversible negative changes. With this innovation, Alice you are going to meet people, and you will gain so much more than just knowledge but also get sponsors for your project.

    This idea is worth buying. thanks

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  6. Any step taken towards safe crop protection is worth undertaking. Our grandparents lived longer and healthy lives because they enjoyed healthy foods. Synthetic chemicals have taken away our safety and everytime we buy dusted tomatoes in the market, we are worried. You have my blessings for this trial. May we find solutions to tomato diseases without relying on toxic synthetic chemicals!!!!!

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  7. We really need such kind of innovations in Africa in general and Uganda in particular. Please ensure that it is implemented.

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  8. This is absolutly brilliant…
    Its everything that helps in the fight against artificial chemicals that enter our bodies through agricultural products…
    I need to get intouch with you… And further this idea…
    I believe nature has and always have its answers

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  9. I am exceeding humble by your efforts and innovations. This is a great start to a career to serve humanity. I look forward to reading more on the same. We can discuss more about this innovation.

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  10. The project is generally good and also I it would be better if you add more information in the areas such as how are this pesticide made, how long can it be stored and elaborate more on disease, effects or signs and symptoms to tomatoes plant. Get the literature review on disease. Finally, be specific, talk more on neem, mainly show the process and attach more clear pictures. Thank so much showing pragmatism project.

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  11. Great innovation sis, this will not only help the farmers but the community as large and who knows maybe the all world. Great thinking just keep the spirit. Mob luv

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  12. Alice this write up is soo innovational…i now understand more about tomatoe growing and this is what many need to know about this bit of Agriculture..Thank you for bringing this to light..Will continue reading more and more ..Great piece Alice Onek Atimango…Bravooo…Keep going..we right behind you…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done for initiating an eco-friendly measure in boosting Agricultural production with no threat to public health, just look forward to package it and make them available to the farmers

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  14. This is a great start Alice, I must say organic has always been the way to go though we really need to expand on the detail especially with statistics and probably test results. This can contribute to the adoption. Why people opt for chemicals mostlying is their effectiveness versus time. So if rural farmers especially could be convinced that this can actually work as good as the synthetics especially with , like I mentioned earlier some statistics and trial results.

    Otherwise thumbs up for you, pretty proud of you. Keep it going.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Am not well versed with agriculture but according to the idears and innovation I see alot of potential and benefits especially to our local peasant Farmer’s. Great idea great brains.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is surely a great work that needs to be finished and put out in the market.
    I wish you all the best and hope you get all the materials needed to complete this.
    I look forward to reading the entire research and also using this environmentally friendly product.

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  17. It is quite an interesting research and when it yields I predict a medicinal value as an additive from neem, I therefore advise that the research be double targeted,good luck.

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  18. Great work Alice, I’m neither an Agriculturist nor an environmentalist rather a strong believer that a better world is possible. Being a nation with a strong background in Agriculture which also doubles as the backbone that propel and move the economy forward, more practical innovation is needed in the sector of agriculture. With over 80% of the population in the informal sector surviving on agriculture, I believe with your potential many lives will be changed economically by boosting people’s earning and hence improvement in households standards of living. Keep it up.

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  19. I’m neither an Agriculturalist nor an Environmentalist rather a believer that that a better world is possible. With great piece of work like that I am sure that our community will be transformed into a better one than before. More practical research work and innovations are needed in the agricultural sector since over 80% of households make a living from the sector. Please keep it up and you will change the world into a better one. I’m in full support for your work. A life changing project on paper, it need to be implemented.

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  20. this is so great n am so amazed that ur product is not only looking at increasing d yields and quality but is also ensuring that is protecting the environment as well as health!! this is what we need as a developing country…. d genuine products !!

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  21. Thanks Alice Onek its really a good innovation. Organic Farming is the Key to reduce on the amount of Chemical residues on our products.

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  22. Me and my brother we planted tomatoes in my village in Gulu in the early 2010 with the aim of gaining some good profits because a lot of people in town were benefiting a lot.. To our dismay our garden got hit by pesticides and we nearly lost half of the tomatoes harvest as we couldn’t afford the chemicals to regularly spray our tomatoes. If locally made solutions like this were there by then, we would have not lost about 400 euros.
    Its a blessing for farmers of the current time who are making a living via agriculture to be taught options like this in order to help them improve their livelihood. I hope Alice you get the chance to even bring more and more discoveries to solve our local problems using local healthy solutions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The novelty of Alice’s proposed solution is the use of plant extracts which are safer than other chemicals and also protective to the environment. I like this!

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  23. This is impressive, good start Alice, believe in yourself n know that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step.

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  24. I like the idea, food security is my interest with this idea we shall have chemical free foods which will in turn reduce incidences of cancer. I like the brain. proud about the innovation. God bless you efforts to transform the community

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  25. Dear Alice,
    That is a nice piece of work especially for improving livelihood in post conflict northern Uganda. Since your extract work on fungi I would prefer to called it fungicide to be specific other that pesticide. I would also love if in future you include evaluation of potential impact of your fungicide/pesticide on ecological biodiversity of microbial community. I
    Wish you success in your endeavor to improve food production in Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. It’s a great idea on lowering the rate of chemical toxicity to the public health and also simplifying farmers cost economically in the long run due to its sustainability and just add the specifications interns of how it’s process, and applications rate and other possible negative effects so as the users be aware to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bravo Alice!
      This is a practical solution to a real problem. The suitability of your work is premised on its affordability to farmers who normally lose their yields due to low incomes (they can’t afford industrial or chemical pesticides), additionalmy, it’s environmentally friendly and sustainable. This is the direction we need to follow to make the farming world a better place. I believe and trust in this solution. Way to go girl!

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