In recent times, the attention of researchers, extension workers, and farmers has gradually shifted towards the utilization of botanicals and biological alternatives to synthetic pesticides.
PlantVillage is involving farmers across Africa and Asia in developing biological alternatives to pests and diseases. Recently, a group of 18 farmers from Sundarbajar Lamjung in Nepal underwent training on the preparation and practical application of botanical pesticides.
The farmers, comprised of 15 women and three men, went through the theoretical and hands-on sessions.
The initial session was dedicated to theoretical knowledge sharing, including the introduction, uses, and benefits of botanical pesticides.
It then followed the program’s practical phase, which consisted of a collection of plants possessing insecticidal properties within the Sundarbajar area. These collected plants, including Justicia adhatoda, Artemisia vulgaris, Acorus calamus, Melia azedarach, Eupatorium adenophoroum, Allium sativum, Zingiber officinale, etc., were meticulously cut into small pieces and blended with cattle urine.
The resulting mixture was stored in a sealed drum. The precise ratio of water to urine to plant components was maintained at 16:16:16, while the addition of curd served as an effective component to activate the efficacy of beneficial microorganisms.
Farmers expressed their satisfaction with the ease and economic method of preparing this pesticide at the local level. Sarita Basyal, a farmer from Lamjung, emphasized the economic and environmentally friendly attributes of botanical pesticides, advocating for their widespread adoption among all farmers.
Ms. Basyal said that she'd share her knowledge and collaboratively produce the pesticide with fellow farmers.
Passionate about embracing this innovative approach, Tola Maya, a lead farmer, eagerly requested a visit from a PlantVillage Nepal extension officer to her home once the pesticide was ready for field application.
This collective effort highlights the commitment of farmers to promptly incorporate this technology into their practices, exemplifying a promising switch towards sustainable and nature-friendly agricultural methods.