Current economic problems in Chad include the import of synthetic insecticides to control insect pests. Studies have shown that the use of chemical insecticides has negative effects on health. These pesticides are actually a public health problem, and not for the users who are exposed, but also for the general population. People are using pesticides could develop many diseases than others: cancer, congenital malformations, infertility problems, neurological problems or weakened immune system at home.
The use of locally available natural insecticide products could solve the problem. Thanks to the abundance of insecticides and organic materials, it is possible to produce a fertilizer insecticide in large quantities to contribute to a healthy agriculture. Extracts from a tropical tree, neem (Azadirachta indica A. JUSS), have shown insecticidal properties on various insects thanks to a substance that is azadirachtin. This plant is abundant in Chad, but it is not valued. Like neem, livestock faeces are abundant and their transformations into composts and composites for men have contributed to soil fertility and pest control. The compost tea is a solution based on beneficial microorganisms that can be spread directly on plants in the form of liquid feed or on soils by watering. This tea has been used to improve plants health, acts as a fungicide and pest control. Thus, during our research, we formulated a liquid product (consisting of sprinkling) from neem extracts and compost tea. This biological product plays several roles in agricultural production: insecticide, fungicide, pest control and fertilizer. It improves plant nutrition and hormone production, stimulates plant development and increases the yield of healthy plants.
During my Master and PhD thesis (2019) at the Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Laboratory (University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon), I tested different formulations of this product as insecticide, antiparasitic, antifungal and fertilizer in field and in storage conditions. These studies were conducted in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. This natural product has been used for one year in the experimental phase by farmers and rural cooperatives to improve agricultural production while preserving ecological benefits.
Regarding the research results, five scientific articles have been published in scientific journals. Nowadays, field trials are continuing and results show significant improvements in yield and quantity of vegetables and fruits. The results are measured by comparing the chemical insecticides to the product of which several agronomic parameters are measured after culture.
At the end of the experiments, the product will be manufactured in industrial quantities and then distributed in the areas of agricultural production. The product will be sold at affordable prices to allow small farmers to use it. This will help to double yields, improve the economy of small producers while fighting poverty in a country where the majority of people live on less than one dollar a day. The project aims to combat the rural exodus, which is a phenomenon of displacement of rural populations for the city in search of jobs. This innovation is a contribution to the valorization of local resources, able to compete or even exceed chemicals.
To implement this project, it will be necessary:
- To perform biochemical analyzes to qualify the product;
- To conduct further research to evaluate its influence on certain pests;
- To make communications about the benefits of the product in crop protection for small producers;
- To sign partnerships with producer organizations
- To propose to the government and the various heads of the agricultural sectors to be popularized;
- To commercialize nationally and internationally.
I am descended from parent’s farmers and breeders who introduced me to agricultural practices from an early age. In our fields, the application of pesticides or fertilizers increased yields. But when we treat these chemicals, we have itching and sometimes inflammation on the skin. It was later that I found that it was these agricultural chemicals that were causing these problems. During my studies, I decided to find an alternative to these products, by developing a completely biological substitute product.
I would like to participate in IUPAC Next Generation Agri-summit and the N-GAGE Project, to present my product to a wide audience in order to meet partners. It is also a place to acquire new skills and new experiences that can positively impact the project.
Christophe Haouvang Laba, Chad