TRIP TO ICIPE-MBITA, KENYA
The international Centre for insect physiology and ecology (ICIPE) was established in 1970 in direct response to the need for alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management strategies. ICIPE has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and is mandated to conduct research and develop methods that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing and which are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban insect biodiversity found in Africa. ICIPE’s capacity building programme aims to promote the development and utilization of sustainable arthropod management technologies by enhancing the research and training capabilities of countries In Africa.
The push-pull technology
The push-pull technology is a conservation agriculture technology developed to tackle some of the natural resource problems faced by smallholder farmers. The principal pest and weed problems in cereal production are the stem borer, an insect pest, and striga a parasitic weed. In tackling the enemies, push-pull farmers establish perennial stands of two fodder crops, one between the rows(repellent intercrop/push crop) of their main cereal crop, and the other around the field(border plant). The natural chemicals produced by these companion fodder plants provide effective control of FAW, stemborer and striga weed.
Conventional push-pull-farmers use nappier grass and desmodium legume (green leaf) as intercrops in areas with reliable rainfall
Climate smart push-pull technology- farmers use drought tolerant green leaf desmodium as an intercrop of maize to efficiently produce staple cereal crops and fodder under hot, dry condition.
Things that we learnt;
Push-pull technology and its advantages;
-They look forward to collaborating with us to solve farmers problems/challenges
-The organization looks forward to training our farmers/ groups free.
-The organization will set up demonstration plots in Busia to help in training farmers.
-They also look forward to working with us in designing/training a model that incorporates the push-pull technology information and giving farmers advice.
-The DT is very happy for the trip! It was indeed an eye opener to us. We now have the courage to spread the information since we know what to advice and how. We will actively work with farmers who already embraced the technology and also influence those who haven’t. We will also mobilize as many groups as possible and invite the ICIPE staff for the trainings!
Written by: Gladys Ntango