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  • Op-Ed: Progress in pest prevention offers hope for Africa’s food security

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Op-Ed: Progress in pest prevention offers hope for Africa’s food security

Source(s):  CNBC

By Ifeoluwa Adenike Alade, PhD candidate, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


One little-known crop that is essential to food security on the continent is amaranth. This leafy green vegetable is one of the most consumed in Africa and accounts for up to 25 per cent of daily protein intake in some countries, making it essential to their health and wellbeing.


But one threat that holds back amaranth from making an even greater contribution to Africa’s food security is the amaranthus leaf webber, a species of moth that is commonly found in the tropics. The webber larvae are voracious pests, and a single leaf webber infestation can destroy an entire field of amaranth.


For amaranth farmers, plant-produced repellents could be valuable new tool in the [risk management] toolbox, supported by other strategies such as pest monitoring and surveillance, using complementary crops to repel pests and using existing pesticides when necessary.

Taken together, such integrated pest management (IPM) can dramatically improve yields while also reducing labour and costs, by ensuring that farmers use the most effective and sustainable combination of crop protection techniques.


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  • Publication date 21 Aug 2019

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