Project: East Africa

Push-Pull Dissemination

Sustainable agriculture and rural development in Central Kenya


“Push-Pull” ( is an integrated, sustainable farming method that improves maize yields and soil fertility: The stemborer pest is repelled by the smell of desmodium planted as an intercrop between the maize (“Push”). Napier grass is planted as a border crop and it attracts the stemborers away the maize field (“Pull”). Desmodium can also fix nitrogen and so improves maize yields without the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides. The napier grass is also a welcome source of healthy animal fodder. The aim of the project supported by Biovision is to extend the use of this sustainable method in the area around Lake Victoria. The Push-Pull method is being taught at many agricultural schools and information that is easy to understand is being made available in the form of manuals or comics. Practical instruction and short films are used to reach the farmers who often have little or no formal schooling.