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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on the push-pull technique

The push-pull approach was designed to protect maize from stem borers. This type of pest management − using plants which are locally available as part of a system that is easy to set up and manage − often produces benefits beyond controlling pests. In this case, Napier grass and desmodium can provide good fodder for livestock. Farmers, as in this story, are now taking advantage of this and increasing their milk production and sales. Other benefits − of desmodium in particular − as reported by farmers and researchers, are soil improvement, including better water retention and increased nitrogen, and management of striga.

For full details on the push-pull technique and the plants involved, visit: http://www.push-pull.net

This webpage from infonet-biovision outlines 12 steps to planting a push-pull field: http://www.infonet-biovision.org/default/ct/253/soilFertilityManagement.

To browse Farm Radio International scripts on pest management, go to:  http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/pest.asp.

Read this previous Farm Radio Weekly story on push-pull:

Kenya: ‘Push-pull’ method protects maize from major pests (FRW 108, April 2010)

http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/04/26/2-kenya-%E2%80%98push-pull%E2%80%99-method-protects-maize-from-major-pests-ips-infonet-biovision/

If stem borers and striga (sometimes called witchweed) are major problems in your area, you may wish to produce a program on the topic, sharing this week’s news story and highlighting this technique. You could also include a live discussion featuring one or more farmers or extension workers familiar with the push-pull method, or other natural pest control techniques.

You might also wish to produce a show that invites farmers to call-in or text-in their experiences with alternative pest control methods:

-Have farmers in your area heard of or tried intercropping as a way to control weeds or unwanted insects?
-Have farmers in your area discovered other alternatives to commercial pesticides?
-Do they find the alternatives more or less effective in reducing pest damage and increasing yields?

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