Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab at Virginia Tech University
Kansas State University
Niger - International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (UAM), Université de Maradi
Senegal - Centre d’Etudes Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation à la Sécheresse (CERAAS), Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD)
Pearl millet serves as a staple crop to millions of smallholder farmers and their families around the world. But pearl millet has its weaknesses, and one of those is its susceptibility to certain insect pests. Across the African Sahel - where millet is an irreplaceable base to the diets of humans and livestock alike - the millet stem borer and millet head miner are considered major chronic millet pests, known for wreaking havoc and causing major destruction to entire fields of production.
The technology focuses on the release of a naturally occurring parasitoid that targets both the head miner and stem borer and kills them, effectively controlling the population. Parasitoid wasps (Habrobracon hebetor) are reared in jute bags with millet grain, millet flour, rice moth larvae (Corcyra cephalonica) and two mated H. Hebetor females. Offspring emerge from the bags and disperse to the millet fields to control the millet head miner and borer insects. A set of 15 bags yield a population of approximately 1,000 parasitoids, which provides coverage of up to three square kilometers, resulting in a potential yield gain of up to 34% compared to unprotected fields of millet.
This project and research was funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, known as the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab (SMIL). This lab is funded by USAID and managed at Kansas State University.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles du Senegal (ISRA)