Organic pest management

Promotion of botanical pesticides for organic pest management and liquid manure

Production of fresh vegetable is often hampered by pests which may reduce production and badly affect farmers’ income. Chemical pesticides are available and are used, sometimes excessively, to combat these pests in parts of Nepal’s midhills. Botanical pesticides prepared from a variety of plant ingredients soaked and fermented in cattle urine provide a suitable alternative to chemical pesticides, at least for subsistence and semi-commercial vegetable producers. These pesticides are based on farmer’s traditional knowledge and are emerging as alternatives to the application of chemical pesticides.

All the ingredients for these pesticides are available locally; in some cases the plants are considered as weeds. Crofton weed (banmara) grows in abundance along roads and paths, and on forest fl oors and suppresses the growth of other more valuable species. It is believed to have pesticidal effects and is often used in botanical pesticides. The Nepali names of other plants commonly used in the tonics are asuro (malabara tree), titepati (mugwort), bakaino (Persian lilac), timur (Nepali pepper), patina (field mint), tulsi (sweet basil), neem, sisnu (stinging nettle), ketuke (century plant), and khirro (tallow tree). In general it is said that herbs and plants that are bitter, pungent, or ‘hot’ or that produce a strong odour are most effective in botanical pesticides.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP4

Location: Nepal midhills

SWC measure: Management

Land use: Annual cropping on rainfed agricultural land

Climate: Humid subtropical

Related approach: Farmer-to-farmer diffusion (QA NEP1); Farmer-led experimentation (QA NEP3); Farmer field school on integrated plant nutrient systems (QA NEP4)

Compiled by: SSMP

Date: January 2007