Insect pests are a major challenge to southern Africa’s food security due to the severe damage they often cause to crops. Pesticidal plants can make a significant contribution to controlling insect pests in legume crops, and results from previous CCRP funding has shown that they can be effective, safer, and more environmentally friendly that synthetic insecticides. However, specific recommendations on the use of pesticidal plants need to take account of a range of variables such as plant species, most suitable methods of extraction, and the frequency and methods of application. The recommendations may vary depending on type of legume crop, growing location, and the types of pesticidal plant species in that location. This project works with farmer research networks in Malawi and Tanzania to assess various parameters that optimize the way in which pesticidal plants can be used. An additional aim is to build capacity of research expertise, particularly developing a new generation of scientists with the broad range of skills necessary to identify and address knowledge gaps on the use of pesticidal plants. The issue of pest management is a priority in CCRP’s regional and program strategies. There is potential for using pesticidal plants to assist with the control of insect pests in a range of legume crops.
Understanding how pesticidal plants support agroecological intensificationAn assessment of the cost-benefits of farmers using pesticidal plants compared to synthetics or no pest controlFeedback from farmers on constraints and opportunities for using pesticidal plantsIncreased bean and cowpea yieldsIncreased household bean and cowpea consumptionIncreased household incomeIncreased supply and marketing chains for pesticidal plant productsDecreased pre- and post-harvest loss of legume crops