The red spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a garden pest that feeds on variety of plants. It lives undersides of leaves and plants and it causes damage on leaves by puncturing the plant cell while feeding. Mites lay eggs that hatch in 3 days. This is why their population is high.
Farmers spend a lot in purchase of chemical sprays to control the red spider mite. Continuous use of pesticides makes these pests resistant hence it becomes difficult to control. This is among the many reasons why we have huge loses of farm produce. Use of Amblyseius californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis is a biological way of controlling the red spider mite but then it’s not a suitable method to small scale farmers.
I came up with a simple and sure way to control the red spider mites by use of pepper .it suits both small and large scale farmers. The procedure is simple.
Crash the pepper. (Both fresh and dry pepper serves the same purpose). Add water depending on the amount of pepper used, and finally spray to the target crops. To make a basic spray from pepper powder, mix 1 tablespoon of pepper powder with one quart of water. The red spider mite dies once it comes into contact with the pepper solution. This pepper substance can be considered as home-made pesticide and is most effective compared to chemical sprays. It is possible to spray on edible crops and consume them shortly after spraying. It has no effect on human and the environment, but it should be kept away from eyes, nose and mouth.
How do you want to do it?
Most horticultural farms especially flower farms spend a lot of money in purchase of pesticides to control the red spider mites. Use of these pesticides have made the red spider mites to be resistant therefore there is too much loss especially on rose flowers due to quality and quantity reduction. If this idea of using pepper to control spider mite could be applied, then a lot could be saved.
As said earlier, use of pepper as a pesticide would help to reduce pollution effects on the environment since it is environmentally friendly. If these pepper solution is used by small scale farmers, it is one way of reducing poverty since it helps save money that would otherwise be used to purchase the chemical pesticides.Alternatively, I can partner with companies that manufacture pesticides and use pepper to make a chemical that can control red spider mite.
The key stake holders are individual farmers, large scale farmers and agricultural centres.
Why are you passionate about the innovation or idea you are proposing?
Am passionate about this innovation because finding new solutions to agriculture means improving people’s livelihood at large. Most countries depend on agriculture. This means a slight improvement in agriculture will help boost a country’s economy. Kenya’s greatest vision is to ensure sustainability in agriculture so as to achieve food security. I wish to help my country achieve this big dream.
It will also help my community in terms of increasing knowledge through learning, generating employment and eradicating poverty.
Wanja Damaris, Kenya