Use of eco-friendly and low cost locally available botanical extracts for the control of common bean pests in Uganda

Common bean is the most important grain legume consumed in Uganda. Known as the “meat for the poor”, the crop is the most important source of protein to the Ugandan population providing about 45% of the total dietary protein.  Despite its importance, its production has remained very low. Pests of common bean such as Ootheca spp, Ophiomia spp, Aphis fabae, Bemisia tabaci, among others are the most challenging factors responsible for low yields of common bean in Uganda. In an attempt to reduce the effect of pests and diseases, farmers use chemical insecticides. However, the use of chemical insecticides is associated with adverse effects to the environment such as killing of non-target organisms and offer health threats to the farmers. Additionally, the use of chemical insecticides is expensive and therefore results into low profits from bean farming. This is worsened by the fact that Ugandan farmers are resource poor farmers who lack enough capital to invest in the use of chemical insecticides despite their adverse effects. The use of botanical extracts to control bean pests in Uganda will provide an opportunity for the resource poor farmers to control bean pests and obtain high yields while maintain the quality of the environment. Farmers in Uganda lack knowledge of these substances mainly because they have not been promoted by researchers and agricultural extension agents. In neighboring countries like Tanzania, these botanicals have been found to control bean pests (for example, bean leaf beetles). Therefore, validating these botanicals in Uganda, and promoting their use through farmer training and advocacy will help bean farmers reduce on the use of chemical insecticides, produce food that is free form pesticide residues and hence safe for human consumption, reduce on the effect of chemicals in the environment, and maximize profits resulting from low costs of pest control.

Botanical extracts will be obtained from available plant species with insecticidal properties such as Azadirachta indica, Phytolacca dodecandra, Capsicum spp, among others. Additionally, urine from animals will be included. Formulations of such concoctions will be prepared and applied to control bean pests in a farmer participatory research with selected bean growers on their fields as model farmers. Farmers will learn how to prepare and apply these substances. Later on, community meetings will be held where we shall pass on the knowledge to the target communities using the model farmers. This will therefore build capacity of farmers to control bean pests using a few model farmers. The activities will be carried out for one year (two consecutive growing seasons) and by the end of this time, farmers will be equipped with the necessary skills to control bean pests using botanicals. For the beginning, the target shall be the Northern region of the country which is the most infested by bean pests. Subsequently, given the availability of funds, the project will be extended to other parts of the country. The skills and knowledge can be passed on from farmer to farmer even after the project has ended.

Chalres Halerimana, Uganda

27 comments

  1. Owing to the high consumption of beans,this would be a great development to our agriculture sector. Thank you Charles,I hope you get the necessary assistance to realize your dream.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is very inspiring. Such organic innovations that eradicates pests are recommended. I appreciate you Charles for this good innovation. I call upon all farmers to take up us and personal am going to try it with my Farmer groups. Keep it up once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a good potential research topic. It will provide farmers with low cost pest management options. This will increase their profit margin upon the sale of their produce. All the best Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done Charles, indeed the advent of alternative eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic pesticides is an invaluable idea given the documented abuse of pesticides in Uganda.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For long we have relied on the chemicals and I have heard people complaining about the chemically sprayed crops. Most importantly, low scale farmers will be able to fight the pests too. This is timely Mr. Halerimana Charles. In future, an extension to the spraying of tomatoes and other vegetables Also be good.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is really awesome news mostly to local farmers who couldn’t afford the so called pesticides and also good for our environment.
    Good job done brother. Keep up

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very amazing for our disadvantaged smallholder farmers that feed the nation. The practise is practised with bananas but never knew its relevance in beans. Thanks for good research Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done comrade, this will help minimize the effect on non target insects such as bees hence enhancing pollination and increased yield. The focus should also target what doses or combination of extracts gives better results in terms of pest control.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Charles,
    The idea and technology is commendable and please role it out to help the needy farmers enhance their pest fighting abilities.
    I would like a few detailed elaborations if possible;
    1. Clearly the extent of damage caused by pests to the crop backed up with some percentage or figure.
    2. The pros of beneficial insects that tragically end up in the non selective insecticide trap and if possible how specific is the organic option you’re promoting for a farmer to opt for it than the dangerous pesticides in use.
    Otherwise, the intent is perfect, timely and helpful.
    Thank you very much for the thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is brilliant and i wish these farmers can take part in the process of making these concorc. tions to build capacity. It doesn’t have to be every farmer but group representantives can be choosen. I feel like the use of these botanical remedies will increase the profit margin and open areas of further research. Thank you for this. Again, Brilliant!!

    Liked by 1 person

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