TIRDO comes up with bio-pesticide to kill pests in vegetables

10Jul 2020
The Guardian
TIRDO comes up with bio-pesticide to kill pests in vegetables

VEGETABLE growers in the country have a reason to smile, after a researcher from the Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organisation (TIRDO) discovered bio-pesticide to control ‘Tuta absoluta, one of the challenging pests.

A researcher from TIRDO, Dr Never Mwambela said the new bio-pesticide baptized ‘Vuruga’ has already been registered by the government. She said farmers are likely to start using it this year.

“I have discovered the pesticide when conducting research for my PhD at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology last year. I did a lot of research before I came up with the ‘Vuruga’ bio-pesticide to kill the challenging pests, which attacks vegetables, tomatoes, maize and other crops,” said Dr Mwambela.

She said the bio-pesticide was earlier tested by the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) before it was registered for use by the government. He said that once the pesticide is sprayed on vegetables, it kills the pests in between three and seven days.

Dr Mwambela appealed to medium scale and large investors to construct factories that will massively produce the pesticides to meet the growing demand. He added that once production of the bio-pesticides is done locally it will reach farmers fast and be sold at reasonable prices.

The researcher suggested for farmers to use organic pesticides against pests to avoid causing health problems to vegetable consumers. She said industrial made pesticides contain a lot of ingredients which may be harmful to people’s health.

“Vegetable growers should prefer organic pesticides since they do not pose any health risks to consumers. Bio-pesticides are good for both human beings and plants,” said Dr Mwambela, noting there are farmers who have already been affected by industrial pesticides.

She said the industrial pesticides are likely to cause different types of cancer.

Commenting on the new bio-pesticides, one of the maize farmers in Arusha Region, Simon Shangwea said that the newly introduced bio-pesticide is good because it does not have a strong smell.

Another farmer, Pezuma Kimale said the new pesticide showed good results when sprayed on tomato and cucumber farms. She said that pests were killed in a short period enabling farmers to get better yields.

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