Friday, December 10, 2010

Safer Agro-chemicals: Blending indigenous knowledge with the new technologies.

                       
Mr William Businei displays dead pests during 
his field trials where he used homemade agro-chemicals
 in his backyard garden.  Photo By BILLY MUTAI

 A ten-year study on herbal agro-chemicals could be the next frontier in safer and sustainable small scale farming, that is if William Businei’s initiative will be explored for large-scale production. Busienei of Koko’s herbal International disclosed that he acquired the skills from his farther who was a renown traditional healer in his community in the sixties.



 WIth a background indigenous knowledge, the Nakuru-based medic has invented a viable herbal pesticides and acaricides for controlling aphids, warms, mosquitoes, cattle ticks and for general disinfections. The product was tested and certified by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Muguga South and the pests controls indicated positive results with between 90 percent and 100 percent effectiveness.

Among the remedies he has produced include control of Diamond Black Moth (DBM), in kales and cabbage, Boll Warms in Tomatoes, Mites in Irish potatoes and Black Aphids in beans all with 100 percent
effectiveness.“The pesticides also have 90 percent positive results in controlling of mites in Managu, aphids in kales and cabbage and red spider mites in tomatoes,” said the herbalist. 

The new herbal discovery could lead to a re-awakening of conscience among the communities living in the natural environment to look at the indigenous vegetation as a source of wealth and solutions to the farming challenges, hence mitigation of climate change effects. 
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