Organic research: As NSPRI responds to calls for integrated pest management Beans, maize, dried peppers, gingers and different agro grains being contaminated and rejected within the markets allover the world can now be easier and well preserved.
The Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Ilorin, Kwara State, has recorded a landmark breakthrough in post-harvest care and improvement of a product it calls NSPRIDUST.
The improvement is completely different from hydrogenated inert silo developed by the institute, which is able to holding grains with out chemical compounds for over two years and being adopted by large-scale farmers and establishments. One of the perennial issues that farmers face is pest infestation. Pests are harmful threats to agricultural produce at different stages of their life, growth, development and after harvest. And efforts at controlling pests around the globe have escalated with the misuse of chemical compounds on the rise, posing threats to human well being and lives.
As people become more aware of the risks associated with unprofessional use of pesticides and the danger posed, and agitate for organically produced/preserved farm produce, the imperatives for extra environmentally sustainable and health-friendly technique of pest management cannot be overemphasized. The product was a result of concerted efforts for safer options to chemical compounds used as preservatives of farm produce within the nation, Dr Patricia Pessu, Acting Executive Director of the NSPRI, solely disclosed to The Guardian, and that NSPRIDUST is a Nigeria-derived Diatomaceous Earth (DE) present in some areas within the nation.“Diatomite is subjected to various physical and chemical modifications by the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) to achieve NSPRIDUST,”
Mode of action
Dr Pessu, in explaining the mode of action of the natural product, stated “NSPRIDUST is non-toxic because it has no pesticide residue, a bonus over artificial chemical compounds. NSPRIDUST-treated bugs (e.g. weevils) die by desiccation [dehydration] after shedding copious quantity of water from theire bodies.
“This is as a result of the mud adsorbs/absorbs (removes) pure lipids on the floor of the insect’s cuticle. When these protecting lipids (waxes) are absorbed by the mud, water leaves the physique of the insect, inflicting loss of life.” The means of lipid absorption, she added, happens quicker at increased temperature and decrease humidity, and that “the dust is found effective as a protectant as long as there is enough quantity to be picked by the insect as it moves around in storage.”
How application is done
Unlike different pesticides requiring heavy devices like knap-sack sprayers and mud blowers, the mud is definitely utilized by illiterate farmers and will be utilized on grains meant to be saved in numerous storage services like baggage and silos, and will also be used to deal with empty storage services like warehouses and cribs earlier than storage. Pessu disclosed that to deal with 100kg of grains, grains may very well be divided into three massive plastic basins and the 100g mud may very well be sprinkled equally on grains within the basins.
She stated carrying gloves and nostril covers earlier than mixing the powder with grains completely for roughly 5 minutes is critical since some individuals react to inhalation of any dusty particle.
“Thereafter, pour grains in the three basins together in one polypropylene (PP) or jute bag, ensure that dust adhering to the walls of the basins are pushed into the bag, and tie up the bag with twine. “Place the bag on wooden pallet for storage. Furthermore, required amount of the dust can be applied on grains as it moves through the augur/conveyor into the silo,” she explained.
Economic and health advantages
An analysis by the University of Jos on environmental affect of pesticides utilization on farmlands in Nigeria states that the invention of many chemical compounds after the second World War to fight pests in tropical areas had inspired their speedy use in agriculture because the chemical business had offered an arsenal of over half one million chemical substances into the market.
“The production of these agricultural poisons has been one of the largest growth areas in chemical industry today, However, the NSPRI product, acting executive director said, “is cost-effective and is the cheapest non-toxic and environment-friendly insecticide in Nigeria now.”It is packaged experimentally in 100g packs and that is the dose required to deal with 100kg of grains such as maize, beans, rice, sorghum and millet.
The implication for the farmer or middlemen buying and selling grains is that they’ll shield 100kg of grains with 100gm of the mud, which, within production evaluation, price is put at N300.Scientists who labored on the merchandise, based on Dr Pessu, are happy that in the long term, “a product that would prevent deaths and health hazards associated with the consumption of grains and other farm products inappropriately preserved with toxic chemicals has been developed by the institute.”
Considering built-in pest control
Meanwhile, because the transfer towards irregular utilization of chemical preservatives intensifies, so is the decision for the adoption of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM).IPM focus extra on eliminating and controlling pests with a minimal use of chemical compounds. It entails knowledge assortment, evaluation and interpretation, which, in flip, allow a correct identification of the presence of pests and assist in taking a call on therapy plans that deter their re-emergence. Pesticides are sparingly employed, particularly provided that the situation is important.