Banana waste, potato’s gain
These findings of research led by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and North Carolina State University, USA, working with various partners, have been published recently in Nature Sustainability (Paper link: https://rdcu.be/cHVSg). (Addition links: article in Science; short video)
“Initially, we aimed to understand whether the ‘wrap and plant’ technology can help to improve the delivery and effectiveness of nematicides, the chemical agents that are used to control parasitic worms that damage crops, such as nematodes,” notes Juliet Ochola (Kenya), who was involved in the research as part of her MSc studies, completed in 2021, co-supervised by icipe and IITA while registered at Kenyatta University, Kenya.
She adds: “We established that when loaded with ultra-low dosages of nematicides, the banana paper enables the chemicals to be released in a slow and sustained manner and in very low but effective concentrations. The paper also facilitates the nematicides to be conveyed specifically to the root zone of the potato plants; the infection site of the nematodes, thus preventing contamination to non-target areas and organisms.”