Alfred Kyando, a student at Chang’ombe Secondary School said they have invented an acoustic device to disturb and help chase away destructive crops pests, likely to be an alternative to using hazardous chemical sprays in the fields.
The proposals were submitted yesterday to officials of the College of Education of the University of Dar es Salaam, as an initiative to aid the teaching of science students via commercial links, the ‘Future Stem Business Leaders Tanzania (FSBL)’.
The student said that since Tanzania and Africa generally depend on agriculture, destructive pests like a swarm of locusts with 40 billion insects can cause famine when it sweeps over an area, noting that last year locusts invaded 23 African countries. This year the insects wrought havoc in Longido District of Arusha Region.
The main strategy used to confront the pests was the use of chemical sprays, but students have come up with a device emitting acoustics vibrations that chase away the pests instead of killing them with chemicals that might damage the soil and also affect humans, he stated.
The device is intended to free farms from locusts without spraying to enable sustainable farming, he explained, while Irene Augustine, a student at Temeke Secondary School said a group of them devised an energy drink that has no adverse effects on humans.
“Our product can be used by any individual, a pregnant woman or a diabetic. We are making our drink using Ginseng, a plant well known in the Far East and used to treat various diseases and enhance body energy.
For her part, FSBL project manager Josephine Sepeku brought together science students after mooting ideas that would compete with others to get a winner. They are now incorporating those ideas for commercially viable proposals, following a series of lessons from July to November on how to connect innovation to business.
“The aim is that when a person says he studies science he should have the ability to understand how he will use the science in business,” the teacher elaborated, directing her remarks to the policy thrust towards industries.” We have to assist students so that the subjects we teach them in class provide the basis for action and enable business outputs to hatch,” she asserted.
Simon Kamanga, a teacher at Baobab Girls Secondary School said the future stem project was important to students as they demonstrate in practice the science taught in class.