6th June 2013
Protecting maize from post-harvest pests
Exosect Ltd. has today received confirmation of importation licenses from Tanzania and Ghana for trials of its bio-pesticide grain protectant.
Speaking recently at the Technical Meeting on Post-Harvest Loss Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa on 14 May 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia, Agriculture and Livestock Minister in the Republic of Zambia, Mr Robert Sichinga said that post-harvest losses have led to the high prices of maize and other foodstuffs in sub-Saharan Africa. “Post-harvest losses contribute to high food prices by removing part of the food supply from the market and also have a negative environmental impact as land, water and non-renewable resources such as fertilizers are used to produce, process, handle and transport food that no one consumes, ” Mr Sichinga said.
He added that Zambia has a post-harvest loss of about 32 percent of maize grain due to lack of proper storage facilities, and that out of the over 3.7 million tonnes of grain harvested in the past years, the country only managed to account for 1.7 million tonnes of grain, with the rest going to waste.
FAO resident representative Dr George Okech and African Union Commission(AU) representative Janet Edeme said at the same conference, that over US$4 billion, (which could meet annual food requirements of about 48 million people), was lost in Sub-Saharan post-harvest grain losses every year. Further saying there was need for countries in the sub-Saharan region to introduce measures aimed at reducing the losses.
It is therefore timely that UK Company Exosect Ltd. has today received confirmation of importation licenses from Tanzania and Ghana for trials of its bio-pesticide grain protectant.
The trials in stored maize with small farmers this summer, will provide important efficacy data that will enable registration and adoption of this technology where is so critically needed in Sub-Saharan Africa. The protectant is based on Exosect’s patented platform technology Entostat, incorporating the naturally occurring, friendly fungus Beauveria bassiana.
*Entostat powder is the platform technology for Exosect’s range of products. Derived from a natural ‘food grade’ wax which is sustainably harvested from palm trees, Entostat powder acts as a delivery system for a wide range of chemistry.
As the name suggests “Entostat” powder exhibits electrostatic properties. Even through very slight movement, it develops an electrostatic charge. Insects similarly develop an electrostatic charge as they fly through air or walk across physical surfaces. When placed in contact with insects, the powder adheres to them and can be passed from one insect to another through direct contact. This patented platform enables the use of very low doses of active ingredient and has potential applications in many sectors.
*Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and is pathogenic to a range of arthropod species.
*Entomopathogenic fungus is a fungus that can act as a parasite of insects and kills or seriously disables them.
Previous press releases regarding this project
Notes to Editors
Exosect is focused on the development of Intelligent Pest Management solutions. Its innovative and cost-effective products help growers, food manufacturers and processors to actively reduce their use of pesticides. These products are used globally in a wide range of sectors including crop protection (agriculture, horticulture and stored products), apiculture and public health. Exosect is a SOFHT (Society of Food Hygiene and Technology) award winner, a category winner in the Guardian Global Cleantech 100 awards and a finalist in the Agrow Awards. This and further news is available at: www.exosect.com
Agrow Awards 2012 Shortlist - http://awards.agrow.com/agrow-awards-shortlist/
Our mission is to discover, develop & commercialise, safe, sustainable bio-conventional control solutions for the food industry, that protect food from insect damage and disease whilst reducing use of and dependence on traditional chemical pest control products.
- Ends -
For further information please contact: Jane Terry at Exosect.
Tel: +44 23 8060 3939 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org