Research-led innovation offering more competitive fruit and cocoa production in Ghana moves one step nearer
5 August 2010
An RIU Best Bet
reached an important milestone recently in its quest to get biopesticides registered in Ghana
The Real IPM Company's products target very specific pests:
- Metarhizium controls mealy bug, a pest of fruit trees and cocoa
- Trichoderma controls various Phytophthora diseases of pineapple and cocoa
Before trials could start in Ghana the biopesticides needed to be moved from production facility in Kenya to West Africa. For this an export licence was needed from the Kenyan Plant Health Inspection Service for the pesticides to leave Kenya; but this would have been worthless without a corresponding import licence from the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana. Both licences were granted on 20 July 2010. Since then samples of the two products have been delivered to the University of Ghana, which is undertaking field efficacy trials as part of the registration process
This is the first time that the two biopesticides have been carried to Ghana from Kenya. Indeed to date no biopesticide has been registered for use in Ghana.
Daniel Nene, biopesticide production manager at Real IPM, (pictured below) reports:
"This is very exciting news for the RIU project. Getting the licenses to transport the pesticides and delivering then to the University of Ghana is the first step in getting the Real IPM's biopesticides registered in Ghana.
If we are able to register these products for use by Ghana's farmers it will mean that safe natural biopesticides can replace chemical. This should reduce production costs and make the products more attractive, especially to export markets. This work should also make it easier for other biopesticide registrations in the future."
, chairman and founder of Blue Skies Fruit
"We are a private sector company processing fruit in Ghana. But we pride ourselves on the proximity to the farmers and we offer advice through our eight agronomists to find the best possible techniques. There has to be mutual benefits: for Blue Skies in terms of quality and for the farmers in terms of cash and the bottom line...I believe that what I call a broader organic approach is good for Africa. Who wants to pay for dollar-based chemicals when there is an easier way of addressing the problem? Also we will see benefits from this approach in the export markets of Europe and USA."