Plant pests and diseases reduce crop yield, lower the farmers‘ income and often lead to overuse of fragile soil.
In Biovision’s projects, methods of ecological agriculture are disseminated among farmers:
- Organic pest control instead of chemical insecticides and pesticides.
- Soil improvement with compost, manure and nitrogen-fixing plants instead of with artificial fertilisers.
- Soil protection and water retention using mulch and ground-covering plants.
Maize is an important staple food plant in large areas of Africa. But harvests are often reduced by insect and plant pests. In this way the maize is protected naturally, and harvests enormously increased.
Since Biovision started to support Push Pull, some 110,000 farmers have signed up to the method. Yields are up by some 200% and farming incomes have increased significantly. Sustainable pest control has also been successful in East Africa where integrated pest management is used to control the fruit fly. On average, interventions such as the release of parasitoids have increased incomes by 48% and reduced the yield losses of mango farmers by about 20%.