New tech delivers results against pests

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Nov 18 | Updated: Nov 19 2007, 04:38am hrs
A new bio-control method for pests, particularly tissue borers on sugarcane and coconut has benefited farmers in the country. The technology developed by the Bangalore-based Pest Control (India) Pvt Ltd uses indigenously synthesized sex-pheromone and potable water trap.

NS Rao of PCI told The Financial Express that the company has already secured patent rights over its potable water trap technology in February, this year. "We have recently received an award from the department of science and technology for our innovative technology and its promotion," he said.

The tissue borers of sugarcane which causes up to 55.4% reduction in yield cannot easily be tackled by chemical or simple biological means due to the long duration of the crop, nature of its canopy, concealed habits of various pests and occurrence of its number of generations. Although the efficacy of sex pheromones in managing major sugarcane borers was validated in 1980s, the technology could not be adopted due to the absence of indigenous commercial pheromone synthesis facilities and cheap and easy to use potable water trap, he said.

Rao further said that his company thereafter established for the first time the commercial facility for pheromone synthesis and also developed protocols for pheromones synthesis for four sugarcane borers and designed and developed insect trapping device and made them commercially available. We succeeded in scaling up production capacity from about 1 kg of technical pheromone concentrate in 2000 to the current level of 60 kg per annum. he said.

The portable water trap developed under the project was also found to be effective in trapping other insect pests including brinjal shoot and fruit borer, diamond back moth of cabbage. PCI has also started exporting some of the pheromone lures and the patented portable water trap. It working to control white stem borer in coffee, he said.