Andhra Pradesh

An insect trap that obviates need for pesticide

G. Venkatrama Raju clearing the dead flies from the solar-powered insect trap at his farm in Kadapa district.  

This five-foot-tall stand installed in the middle of the farm is touted as a significant intervention that keeps the environment clean as well as fetch the farmers decent returns.

Working on a technology promoted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), this solar-powered insect trap kills most of the pests that wreak havoc on crops.

How it works

Like any other solar device, it stores power in a battery, with which a bulb glows for four hours from sunset. The harmful insects and flies hovering over the crops in search of food get attracted to the bright light and perish on coming into contact with the electrified fence around the bulb.

“It is during this warm time that harmful insects invade the farms. As the self-operating light switches off in four to five hours, the crop-friendly insects flying after midnight are not threatened,” explains G. Venkatrama Raju, an ex-serviceman-turned-progressive farmer, who has installed the insect trap in his field.

In an interview to The Hindu, Mr. Raju explained that the trap would kill stem borers, bark borers, fruit flies, mango hoppers and sucking pests.

“By killing a large number of pests, the trap breaks their life cycle and prevents future generations from taking over the farms,” says Mr. Raju, while clearing the dead insects from the base of the trap using a soft brush.

One trap can take care of crops in 8,000 sq. m, or two acres, and farmers can have multiple traps installed for larger extents. The easy-to-operate trap can be handled even by farm assistants.

Advantage

Working on the economics, he said that an average farmer could get back his investment in a year, or one cropping season.

“For example, a farmer growing musk melon in two acres gets the cost back in the very first crop by obviating the need to go for pesticide spray once in five days for 60 days. This not only avoids burning a hole in the pocket but also saves a lot for the environment,” points out Mr. Raju.

“A farmer has to plan only for likely viral and fungal infections affecting the crops, as this trap takes care of pest management for 20 years,” Mr. Raju explains.

After successfully using the technology for his watermelon farm, the jawan-turned-kisan is contemplating extending it to his banana and papaya farms.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 2:47:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/an-insect-trap-that-obviates-need-for-pesticide/article34509777.ece

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