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How mango farmers organically reduce whiteflies by over 80%

white fly jar

ango farm­ers have cre­ated a trap that kills white­flies, a pest that causes 80-90 per cent dam­age to the fruit, through the use of a pher­omone chem­ical that is used to at­tract male white­flies and kill them.

Kenya being the third-largest pro­du­cer of man­goes in Africa and mainly ex­port­ing to United Arabs, Kenyan man­goes face stiff com­pet­i­tion from man­goes from Ni­geria, due to high in­fest­a­tion rate of the white­flies. This res­ul­ted to Kenya de­cid­ing to ban the ex­port of loc­ally pro­duced man­goes in a bid to com­bat the pest.

One such farmer who was among the first cas­u­al­ties of the ban was Mr. John Mutua a local farmer in Mak­ueni County.

“When the ban first put on loc­ally pro­duced man­goes, my con­sign­ment was re­turned on the basis of high in­fest­a­tion by the flies. This made me suf­fer a great loss busi­ness-wise for me,” says Mutua.

RE­LATED CON­TENT :White fly trap­ping gel halves ve­get­able pesti­cide use

As a res­ult of not know­ing the best way to erad­ic­ate the pest ma­jor­ity of farm­ers de­cide to spray their crops with sev­eral in­sect­icides which also en­tirely do not help.

 “The biggest mis­take most farm­ers do is dir­ectly spray­ing in­sect­icide on to the tree of the fruit. This method does not really help in erad­ic­a­tion of the pest. In­stead, they end up caus­ing a lot of chem­ical build up on the fruits. Farm­ers could use jar traps to deal with the pest,” says Peter Wab­omba a pest con­trol ex­pert.

The trap is a jar covered with a lid and punched holes on the sides the holes are laced with a pher­omone a chem­ical used to at­tract male fruit flies within a ra­dius of one Km of the farm. The chem­ical makes male flies to think they are going to­wards fe­male flies to mate but in­stead, they die im­me­di­ately they enter the jar. The more males that die, the lower the chances of fer­til­iz­a­tion, mean­ing that fi­nally, the pests are erad­ic­ated.

RE­LATED CON­TENT:Potato farm­ers fly with cluster model

This use of this method en­sures there is zero to min­imal chem­ical residue on the fruit. This method of erad­ic­a­tion was first used in El­geyo Marak­wet that has helped farm­ers get rid of this pest.


“I re­mem­ber dur­ing, my last plant­ing sea­son I Lost al­most  80 per cent of my pro­duce be­fore I real­ized that it was the flies that were caus­ing the dam­age. If you would look at the fruit from the out­side it looked good, but once you cut it to the fruit it would be all rot­ten. But after I star­ted using these traps, my pro­duce for the past two sea­sons have been good and I was able to get Sh 1m after pro­duc­tion costs are re­moved,” says John Ki­plagat.

An­other method farm­ers could use to pro­tect their fruits is by ster­il­iz­a­tion of the male flies this way, once they mate with the fe­male flies, they will not lay fer­tile eggs. This is a method that is set to com­pletely erad­ic­ate this pest.

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