A technique that counteracts the harmful insects and weeds has been developed by researchers in Kenya. The method is called push-pull and use odors to control insects and weeds where you want them. It is based on the use of plants whose scents scare off pests. Another plant is planted in the outskirts of cultures that attract pests and push those away from the valuable crops. Some chemical substances released by roots can also keep weeds away, which would otherwise destroy large areas of crops in East Africa.
This has been very successful for the small farmers who use this method. One farmer says that his return has multiplied, like with corn cultivation previously yielded 25 kg / year, and now instead gives 250 kg / year. It’s not just the yield that increases, but the earth becomes richer and biodiversity increases. In addition, they receive a lot of fodder for their animals which then gives more milk as they can give to the children and also sell. They use the so-called control plants as animal feed, so it becomes a win on all sides with the push-pull method.
But the method will probably not be used in Sweden, at least not on a large scale because there are many disadvantages per Richard Ignell at SLU Alnarp Sweden
.He says: There are high costs to develop the method and it takes a lot of research to get it up and running. Moreover, it costs to register certain components whether to use synthetic chemicals (?), so the whole thing can be a very expensive affair. For growers, it is a cost they have to set aside as well a portion of their land, to cultivate a control crop that does not give anything return (?).
Doesn´t it feels a little strange that SLU would rather prioritize GMO research instead of developing natural plant methods to increase yields and safeguard the earth’s nutrients. But as usual the research is not funded by those with the money because it is completely other interests that control.
Listen to the whole story here, some parts in English: Sveriges radio, p1