Homemade botanical remedies: can they really work for pest control?

By Rebecca Quarterman

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A recent study by CABI scientists looked at 12 botanicals

For many low-income farmers, commercial pesticides are too costly to use. Seemingly, the next best option for many is to turn to homemade botanical insecticides using local sources. But how reliable are these resources, and are they safe to recommend?

A CABI-authored paper published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development reviews the efficacy of some of the most commonly used homemade botanicals in controlling insect pests. This paper specifically focuses on previous studies that tested homemade preparations under “realistic local field or storage conditions”, as there has been no previous in-depth review on this particular topic.

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“We the women can do it.” Meet Jacinta, a farmer from Bolivia

In a new video, Plantwise follows the life of Jacinta Delgadillo, a farmer from Comarapa, Bolivia. Jacinta and her family grow beans, peppers, and other crops for food and to generate an income. When the crops are attacked by pests and diseases, Jacinta uses her local plant clinic to gain knowledge on how to better manage these threats to her livelihood.

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Maize lethal necrosis disease on the decline in Kenya

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Plant clinic data collected by Plantwise countries in East Africa has corroborated a statement from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) which said maize lethal necrosis disease (MLN) is “under control but not eradicated”.

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Meeting the needs of women farmers in Pakistan

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A women-only plant clinic takes place in Punjab province, Pakistan

Globally, women represent 43% of the agricultural labour force but they have less access than men to credit, education, land ownership, high quality inputs, and rural advisory services. Agriculture can be a powerful pathway out of poverty but without fair access to these things, women aren’t always in a position to fully benefit.

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Cultivating more women leaders in Plantwise Pakistan

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It was such a pleasure to talk to Noureen Anum (Anum) over video call from across the border in India and hearing about her experiences and role in Plantwise. She is an agricultural officer in Taxila, a small Tehsil near Rawalpandi District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Taxila has long been known for its universities empowering many with knowledge and information. Anum has been working in the extension service for the last two and a half years and was trained as Plantwise master trainer in 2017. Since then she has not only been training more master trainers to scale up trainings but is also continues to work with farmers as a plant doctor.

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Plantwise Vietnam welcomes the Chairman, Governing Board of CABI

Report by Dr Sivapragasam Annamalai, CABI Country Coordinator for Plantwise Vietnam

Mr. Philip Walters, the Chairman of the Governing Board, CABI visited a plant clinic in Tan My Chanh Village, My Tho City, Tien Giang Province, south Vietnam on the 2nd  November, 2015.  It was his first ever visit to a plant clinic in operation. During the visit, he was accompanied by Dr. Nguyen Van Tuat, the Vice President of VAAS and National Coordinator of Plantwise Vietnam; Dr. Nguyen Van Hoa, Director General of the Southern Fruits Research Institute (SOFRI), a local Implementing Organization of Plantwise, Vietnam and Dr. Siva Annamalai, the CABI Country Coordinator for Plantwise in Vietnam.  During the visit, he was able to see the plant doctors in action diagnosing disease samples and giving appropriate recommendations for the problems faced by mainly citrus farmers in the area.  He also interviewed some farmers and a Vice Chairman of the commune to get a feel of their perception on plant clinics and their future needs.

After the visit to the plant clinic, Mr Philip visited SOFRI and was briefed on the overall Plantwise operations in Vietnam by Dr. Tuat and Dr. Hoa. He addressed the questions raised by the Plantwise Team in Vietnam, assisted by Dr. Siva. Mr. Philip also visited the diagnostic laboratory and other Plantwise-related facilities in SOFRI.   Overall, the trip was a successful one and in the words of Mr. Philip: “impressed with the Plantwise developments going on in Vietnam”.