TWO EXCEPTIONAL BOOKS ON NATURAL PEST CONTROL. Most of you have encountered traditional crop protection strategies or sprays made from local plants to control pest outbreaks in the field or in stored products. There are as many practices of insect control as there are villages, and it is extremely difficult to gather this valuable information. These books compile clear, practical details on prevention and remedies for plant protection. Natural Crop Protection Based on Local Farm Resources in the Tropics and Subtropics by Gaby Stoll (188 pp.) offers many preventive and curative measures used effectively by farmers around the world. Primary pests in field or storage of major crops are described with host plants, distribution, life cycle, damage pattern, and various control measures. The methods of crop and storage protection include thorough information on over 27 insecticidal plant groups and brief mention of other substances and techniques. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Thai, and Singhalese. Single copies are US$29 plus postage from: Margraf Verlag, Postfach 105, 97985 Weikersheim, GERMANY. You may also order for 35 SFr. (about US$27) from the publisher, AGRECOL, c/o Oekozentrum, CH-4438 Langenbruck, SWITZERLAND; phone 062/601420; fax 062/601640. (AGRECOL is a networking and information center for sustainable agriculture in the developing world. Their publications are excellent and usually available in several languages; ask for the catalog. The (Spanish or French) resource guides are bibliographies to useful literature and organizations.)
Natural Pest and Disease Control by Henry Elwell and Anita Maas (128 pp.; fine illustrations by Rose Elwell, see right) is a comprehensive collection of strategies used by farmers in southern and central Africa. This kind of resource is hard to find. The book includes guidelines for prevention, many remedies for common problems, and plant names in five regional languages. The information on action, targets, detailed preparation and application, other uses, and warnings for over 66 cultivated and wild plants in insecticidal/repellent sprays is hard to find in other sources. One chapter on "miscellaneous substances and methods" gives details on using ash, milk, noise, baking soda, traps, etc. to control pests and disease. Order for US$6 within Africa/$8 elsewhere from the Natural Farming Network-Zimbabwe, P.O. Box CY 301, Causeway, Harare, ZIMBABWE; phone 726538/731541; fax 263-4-723056. (See the Natural Farming Network article in the chapter on Farming Systems to order from other African countries.)
"BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS AND WEEDS" is run each May at Silwood Park, UK. This is a "practical 'hands-on' training course on how to use natural enemies as biological control agents in tropical and temperate agriculture, forestry, and biodiversity conservation. We welcome participants from crop protection research and extension services, universities and rural development NGOs." The course studies predators, parasites, and diseases which control insect pests; insects and fungal diseases as weed controls; and the practical aspects of evaluating, rearing, and releasing the natural enemies. Cost is £3450 (about US$5200), including fees, accommodation, and food. No scholarships are available from IIBC. Contact Stephanie Williamson, International Institute of Biological Control (IIBC), Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7TA, UK; phone 44 1344 872999; fax 44 1344 875007; e-mail s.williamson@CABI.org.
THE COMPENDIUM OF PLANT DISEASE SERIES is valuable in identifying crop diseases. Bacterial and fungal diseases of plants are notoriously difficult to diagnose in the field. This series offers excellent descriptions of symptoms and clear photographs of affected plants so you know what problem to address. Each soft cover book covers one or more specific crops, such as sweet potato, bean, corn, barley, cotton, potato, citrus, peanut, onion and garlic, alfalfa, and other fruits, grains, and ornamental species. Each has a comprehensive description of the diseases (some also include insect and nematode pests) of that crop, including the symptoms, causes and pathogens, disease cycle, and specific options for control. The controls presented include preventive steps, cultural techniques, optimal timing of chemical application, and effects on other crops and subsequent seasons. There is also a section on nutritional deficiencies and environmental stresses on the plants, and a very complete, descriptive glossary. High-quality color plates illustrate the problems discussed in the text; some are distinctive enough to use in diagnosis.
The series is available from the American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121- 2097; phone 612/454-7250; fax 612/454-0766. The books are 50-200 pages long, and cost $30 US/$37 overseas. With that price, most people won't be able to purchase very many in the series. You may want to concentrate on those food or market/export crops which are nutritional or economic staples in the region, particularly where production seems limited by unidentified disease problems.
INSECTS IN YOUR GARDEN IN HAITIAN CREOLE. Ed Russell wrote this 117-page book in Creole called Ensèk Nan Jaden Nou (Insects in Your Garden) while working with the Baptist Mission. "This book grew out of my own lack of knowledge about insect pests. I would buy pesticides that came in a plain brown bag or a used food oil can. So I had no idea how to use them properly. Talking with others, I found that there is a great abuse of pesticides in Haiti. ...The book has its roots in a brief agriculture course I was teaching at the request of a local cooperative.
"The book is divided into 5 chapters. Chapter 1: insect life histories and the identification of some common beneficial and pest insects; Chapter 2: pesticides, their dangers, proper use, and how to make home-made pesticides; Chapter 3: first aid information for pesticide poisoning; Chapter 4: a table of Latin, Creole, English and French names for the insects and botanical pesticide sources discussed in the book; Chapter 5: a table of various crops, common pests that attack them, and pesticide treatments that can be used.
"The book is neither complete nor perfect, since I do not profess to be an expert on insect matters." Ed told us that it is weak in two areas. 1. Geographic coverage. He is most familiar with problems in the Cul-de-Sac and Fort Jacque area. 2. It lacks information about some pesticides because many insecticides sold in Haiti are not sold in the U.S. He also said he did not discuss cultural methods of control, such as floating row covers, that he believed were out of reach of peasant farmers. The book is written for people doing extension work, not peasant farmers themselves.
The Baptist Mission is printing the book on a laser printer as needed and selling it in the Mountain Maid store at the mission. I think every development worker in Haiti knows where the mission is located. The cost is $7/copy, including postage. The address if ordering from outside of Haiti is Mountain Maid, Baptist Haiti Mission, Box 15650, West Palm Beach, FL 33416. Ed says, "Since I am no longer working in Haiti, other interested people may want to work on future revisions." This could easily be done because of the print-as-needed approach. If anyone wishes to do this in the future, contact Wally Turnbull at the Baptist Mission.
RODALE INSTITUTE is well-known in the United States as the publisher of the popular home gardening magazine Organic Gardening. Rodale has many good publications on natural pest control, mostly oriented for temperate regions. Ask for titles and availability from Rodale Press, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098, USA.
PLANT PROTECTION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (PPIP) FOR EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA. Johan Morner, the PPIP Manager, writes that "PPIP is striving to increase its contacts with non-governmental organizations" which work in certain countries of east and southern Africa. If you work in that region and are involved in any of the activities listed below, you may be able to obtain financial and/or technical support from PPIP. It is funded by Swedish foreign aid.
"Examples of the types of activities that might qualify for support are (1) training courses on new pest control methods, (2) pest surveys and yield loss assessment in small-scale farming, (3) research into new and appropriate pest control-indigenous methods, natural pesticides, cultural practices, (4) development of extension materials and methods on appropriate pest control practices and the safe use of pesticides." For further information, contact the PPIP Coordination Unit, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7044, S-75007 Uppsala, SWEDEN; phone 46 18 672516; fax 46 18 672890; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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