The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) has developed a range of biopesticides against the highly destructive fall armyworm.
“Since this notorious pest invaded Africa four years ago, our vision has been to provide farmers with science-led, context specific, affordable and environmentally friendly solutions for its management.”, says Dr Segenet Kelemu, Director General and CEO of the institute.
According to official communication from the centre, the process funded by the European Union was done in collaboration with development partners, government and regulatory authorities in East Africa.
“Icipe has undertaken label extension of two of its commercially available biopesticides. They are now being upscaled for fall armyworm control”, it notes in its website.
In addition, the centre also emphasized that a number of newly discovered biopesticides are currently undergoing fast-tracked registration.
The newly developed product is capable of controlling pests in farms without leaving toxic residue on produce. The research agency also notes that it poses minimal risk to the health of people and the environment.
Researchers at the centre indicated that the icipe biopesticides was developed from an extensive repository of insect infecting microorganism strains.
“A superior aspect of these products is that they are effective against different stages of the fall armyworm life cycle including the egg and early larval stages preventing population build-up”, the statement reads.
The biopesticides with an ability to be autodisseminated, is easily spread to others in the farm as long as it has been picked by a few fall armyworms.
The fall armyworm was reported in Nigeria in 2016 and it has since spread at an alarming rate across Africa. It is now present in 47 African countries.
The best whose ability to develop resistance to most synthetic pesticides has been mind-boggling, could not be controlled through the use of chemical insecticides since its adult stage is most active at night, and the infestation is only detected after damage has been caused to the crop.
The new pesticide already tested in various farms is currently in a “label-extension” process at Real IPM Ltd.