Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gitam University professor comes out with biopesticide made of fungi that kill insects

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: An engineering biotech professor has successfully
developed technology for production of fungal complex bio-pesticide
that kills pests on vegetable and cereal crops without harming the
environment.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) is
now funding the project to help farmers in different districts. The
technology is being patented and Nabard has taken up the task of
popularising the bio-pesticide through self-employed youths to avoid
its commercialisation.

Dr Ch Murali Mohan, associate professor in the department of
biotechnology, Gitam University, Visakhapatnam, told this
correspondent that he had used the fungi that kill insects. The fungi
used in the bio-pesticide kill the insects and caterpillars the
natural way, without damaging the environment. “The entamopathogenic
fungal complex contains fungal species like Beauveria bassiana,
Metarhizium amisophiae and Nomuraea rileyi. Our field trials have been
successful and Nabard is now providing training to unemployed youth in
rural areas to set up bio-pesticide production units as a cottage
industry,” he added.

The bio-pesticide has been named, Gitam-Trishul, and is funded under
the Rural Innovation Fund. The Swiss Agency for Development and
Cooperation has also financed the project.

Field trials were conducted on chilli, rice and vegetable crops like
brinjal. The product can be used in controlling sucking pests, fruit
and shoot borers, leaf rollers and leaf-eating caterpillars in chilli,
rice, red gram and vegetable crops. One kg of formulation can be used
per acre to control insect pests. It can be used as a foliar spray and
soil application.

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