Tamil Nadu

Loyola college produces bio-oil formulation

Ponneem, a bio-pesticide developed by Loyola College.

Ponneem, a bio-pesticide developed by Loyola College.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Repellent effective against major pests

The Entomology Research Institute (ERI), Loyola College, has produced a plant-based pesticide to control fall armyworm, which caused widespread damage to 180 major crops in Tamil Nadu and cotton bollworm.

“It has proved more effective than chemical pesticides. We found its efficacy in the fields in Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet districts,” said Fr S. Maria Packiam, SJ, Director of the ERI, who has developed ‘Ponneem’, a natural oil formation for the control of agricultural pests, termites and mosquitoes.

Product patented

Ponneem is a patented product and has pungam and neem oil in equal ratio.

“We have added emulsifier. It has a strong repellent activity. We found after its application the pest insects are not able to eat and lay eggs. The formulation has a detrimental effect on survivors. The insects of the next generation have wing deformities,” said Fr Maria Packiam. Pointing out that chemical pesticides had destroyed honeybees and spiders, the natural pollinators, Fr. Maria Packiam said the chemicals did not spare the bacteria responsible for the decomposition and human beings.

“Farmers who constantly use the chemicals have developed blisters and wounds. The residue of the pesticides found in agricultural products is harmful when consumed,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:26:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/loyola-college-produces-bio-oil-formulation/article30814725.ece

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