Thursday, October 30, 2014

Using Light-Trap for pest control in paddy field

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Light-trap method for pest control gaining popularity in Bangladesh now. This eco-frienddly pest management system is an alternative to pesticide control. It is getting popular among farmers in Bangladesh.

Eco-friendly light-trap

Light-trap, an environmentally sound method for detecting harmful insects, is helping hundreds of farmers in different areas of the district during this ongoing aman season.

The farmers set the light-traps at night with lantern, charger light or electric bulb and place a pot with detergent or kerosene mixed with water under the light. The light attracts the insects that die after falling into the homemade insecticide.

If existence of harmful insects is found, experts advise the farmers on an effective pest control.

"In 43 blocks under 10 unions within my jurisdiction, farmers did not have to use any pesticide so far this year because they did not detect any harmful insects in the paddy fields through the light-trap method," said Mahbubul Alam, Muktagachha upazila agriculture officer.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said they have introduced the programme throughout the district to detect the harmful insects in the aman fields and use the insecticides accordingly to save the crops.

The low-cost method is also helpful for maintaining ecological balance in the fields, they said, adding that the farmers are extremely enthusiastic in using the method because they are reaping benefit from it.


Control usage of pesticide

Normally farmers apply costly insecticides in the paddy fields indiscriminately, killing all the insects including the useful insects, and causing a definite environmental degradation.

But when the harmful insects are detected through the light-trap method, they can save money by applying a cheaper insecticide to kill that particular pest as per the experts' suggestion, said the officials.

Around 2500 light-traps have already been set up in 510 blocks under 12 upazilas of the district. 

"Light-trap programme has been introduced in the district over the past few years to help the farmers manage pest effectively with low cost. This year we are giving more emphasis on the programme,” said Suresh Chandra Basak, deputy director of DAE.

"During September and October every year, farmers face serious pest attack and they have to spend more money to rid paddy fields of all insects. With the light-trap we can find the culprit insect and take proper pest control measure, which is much cheaper and environment-friendly,” he added.

This method has reduced indiscriminate use of pesticides by 50 percent as farmers' response has been very positive, said the official, adding that the farmers are also learning to identify useful insects in the paddy fields.

"I became familiar with light-trap method for the first time this year. This will encourage the farmers and boost aman production,” said Molin Chandra Das, a farmer at Shatrashia of Kumargata union in Muktagachha.

Farmers in Kalapara Upazila

Many farmers in Kalapara upazila under the district are using low-cost ‘light trap’ method to control pests in their aman paddy fields. The environment-friendly method is gaining popularity especially among poor and marginal farmers as it brings better result than costly insecticides.

Framers hung a hurricane with a stick in one corner of the field and put a bucket full of water under the hurricane after the evening. Different types of pests are attracted to the light, fall into the water and die.

“This year I learnt the process of using ‘light trap’ to control pests. Now I am using the cheap and easy method to check pests in my aman paddy field and hope to get better yield this season,” said Manik Mridha, a marginal farmer to Tiakhali village under Kalapara upazila.

Local NGO Wave Foundation provided training to 60 marginal farmers of Nilganj and Tiakhali unions under the upazila on the use light trap to save their paddy from pest.

Seeing the success, many others are getting encouraged to use the method. Anisur Rahman, upazila co-ordinator for the NGO, said, “Under a project funded by the German government, we provided training to 60 marginal farmers in the upazila on pest control by using light trap. It is environment friendly and has no bad effects.”

“We are encouraging farmers to use the process to control pests on their fields as it is easy to use and cheap. It contributes to integrated pest control management,” said Md Moshiur Rahman, upazila agriculture officer.

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