JM Social Icons

    Innovative farmers use coriander (dhania) to attract & kill pests

    images 1

    As most farm­ers in Kenya grow cori­ander or dh­ania for the vi­brant urban and rural mar­ket, one peas­ant is using the crop to ‘se­duce’ pest eat­ing in­sects, which have saved him pesti­cide costs.

    Lady­bird in­sect, which is eas­ily at­trac­ted to the dh­ania, feeds on aph­ids, white flies, mites, among other soft-skinned pests at­tack­ing crops.

    Edwin Atuya, evaded chem­ical costs on his cab­bages after in­clud­ing a few stems of cori­ander in his one-eighth acre farm, and the res­ults, he says were “amaz­ing”.

     “I had grown to­ma­toes in the same farm on an earlier sea­son. Aph­ids in­truded and curled the soft parts of the to­ma­toes, drain­ing all cell sap (plant juice).”

    Related News: Scientists warn of threat from 120 new pests on Kenya's agriculture

    Related News: How push-pull technology arrests devastating Fall armyworm, Stemborer & Striga weed

    Aph­ids are some of the worst pests at­tack­ing pep­per, to­ma­toes, cab­bage, kales, beet-roots, broc­coli, Brus­sels sprout, lettuce, egg plant, pota­toes, among other crop.

    Atuya used few stems of the cori­ander en­sured that the lady­birds do not over­feed, there­fore, fail to feed on the pests.

    Sun­flower nec­tar is also an­other in­ducer of lady­birds into farms.

    Ac­cord­ing to One Kind, a Scot­land an­imal pro­tec­tion or­gan­isa­tion, a lady­bird can eat about 5,000 aph­ids dur­ing its three to six weeks lifespan.

    One lady­bird lays hun­dreds of eggs on aphid colon­ies and other plant eat­ing pests. And they start feed­ing im­me­di­ately after hatch­ing, the or­gan­isa­tion says.

    The in­sect’s lar­val stage in the most act­ive stage, where they act­ively feed, there­fore, dis­arm­ing the pests.

    The farmer says the heavy ap­plic­a­tion of pesti­cides on his to­mato farm killed in­sects, which may have in­cluded be­ne­fi­cial ones like the lady­bird.

    With the European and other ex­port, mar­kets de­mand­ing min­imal pesti­cide use in pro­duc­tion, In­teg­rated Man­age­ment Prac­tices, which de­pends on bio­lo­gical means to elim­in­ate pests and dis­eases, re­main the most vi­able op­tion.

    Atuya says the next time a farmer sees the lady­bird, they should ‘hug and wel­come’ them to the shamba be­cause they are “great friends”.

    Related News: Garlic growing serves as natural repellent to over 10 pests

    For ef­fect­ive con­trol, cori­ander has to be planted earlier than the main crop to en­sure by the time trans­plant­ing is being done, the ‘sol­diers’ are ready for the battle.

    There are more than 10 bio­lo­gical pest con­trol meth­ods in Kenya. They can be bought from com­pan­ies such as Real IPM and Du­dutech.

    Comments powered by CComment

    Editor's Pick

    News Feed

    Powered by mod LCA

    Sign Up

    Sign up to receive our newsletter
    FarmBiz Africa © 2020