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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: Natural pesticides

Chemical pesticides can be expensive, difficult to store and use safely, and have unintended side effects. More and more, farmers like the one in this story are starting to use alternatives which can be made cheaply and easily, using ingredients often found at home, like chili and soap.

This PDF training module covers the basics on organic pest and disease management in simple language:

http://www.organic-africa.net/fileadmin/documents-africamanual/training-manual/chapter-04/Africa_Manual_M04.pdf

At this link, you can find some recipes for natural insecticides: http://www.oisat.org/control_methods/plants_in_pest_control/chili.html

Natural pesticides can also be used for livestock, as in this recent news item: “Natural Pesticide Protects Cattle Against Ticks in Africa”: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011095902.htm

Farm Radio International has produced many scripts on pest control. Browse our resource bank at: http://www.farmradio.org/archived-radio-scripts/?scriptcat=pest

Here is a selection of scripts to get you started:

-“Powder of little pepper protects stored rice” (Package 81, Script 2, August 2007) http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-81/powder-of-little-pepper-protects-stored-rice/

-“A local plant prevents pest damage to stored seeds” (Package 81, Script 1, August 2007) http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-81/a-local-plant-prevents-pest-damage-to-stored-seeds/
-“Protect children from pesticides” (Package 69, Script 8,December 2003) http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-69-a-world-fit-for-children/protect-children-from-pesticides/

Many scripts in Resource Pack 72 (http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-72-integrated-pest-management-strategies-for-farmers/ , September, 2004) are useful in addressing the issue of integrated pest management, including “Biological Pest Control” (Package 72, Script 4, September 2004) http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-72-integrated-pest-management-strategies-for-farmers/reduce-pests-naturally-with-biological-pest-control/

Farm Radio has some short videos on YouTube in which you can watch broadcasters and farmers discuss and present natural pesticides:

-From Malawi, how to use soap, tobacco leaves and ash to control red spider mites in tomatoes and cabbage borers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID2UDGuI7a0

-From Malawi, the use of neem leaves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myT2u98OkfA&feature=relmfu

What kind of pest control do farmers use in your broadcast area? Find out which pests are common, and how farmers deal with them. Ask farmers if they have heard of these and other non-chemical alternatives. You could even ask a farmer to test them on a small patch of land and report back on his or her findings. Ask the farmer to compare costs, storage, safety and effectiveness.

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