NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The majority of farmers in Africa have turned to
bio-pesticides to fight the fall army worm (FAW) that is
ravaging food crops in the continent, according to a study
launched here on Monday.
The study, by the
Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), was
conducted in 19 African countries early this year, using the
latest version of the national lists of registered pesticides.
It found that
bio-pesticides have proven to be effective in combating the fall
and effective intervention such as bio-pesticide is becoming
popular with farmers in the FAW-infested countries,” said CABI
Integrated Crop Management Adviser and lead researcher Melanie
The study looked at
50 bio-pesticide active ingredients that have been registered in
11 countries in FAW’s native range where farmers have been
managing this pest for centuries and 19 in Africa where it is
The study was
conducted in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi,
Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa,
Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. Tunisia was also included in
the analyses as representing the Mediterranean countries that
may be at risk of fall army worm invasion.
Of the products
studied, 23, including Neem and Bacillus thuringiensis and sex
pheromones and microbials that are registered within sub-Saharan
Africa, are recommended for further consideration.
products included 417 botanicals, 274 microbial and 271
microbial extracts or fermentation products.
Bateman called on
governments to start subsidizing bio-pesticides where they are
not locally available and also consider opportunities for their
production locally in partnership with the private sector to
enhance their access.
The study also found
that several African governments have given out insecticides to
farmers, including some highly hazardous products.
“While some farmers
might be willing to pay a premium for a lower risk product, many
smallholder maize farmers in Africa already have small margins,
so (they) will seek to minimize the additional cost of
controlling a new pest such as the fall army worm,” Bateman
The Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has
developed a Framework for Partnership which emphasizes
alternatives to pesticides, such as microbial and their
extracts, botanicals, semi-chemicals, inorganic biochemicals,
predators and parasitoids.