Long since, has nano technology been just science fiction. The technology is in existence and has finally been incorporated into agricultural production. The Science and Development Network reports that Farmers in Africa are now radio tagging weevils which destroy banana, potatoes and soybean. Not only have farmers been using alternate methods of pest control such as pheromone traps (using harmless chemicals which create a scent that attracts the pest and traps it) but they are now attempting to track this devastating pest to make better use of such alternative technology.
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Fabrice Vinatier, lead author of the study in this research area, published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment this week (22 November), and a researcher at the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development, in Martinique, French West Indies. His team tagged banana weevil pests with radio frequency identification (RFID) which use radio waves to transfer data from the tag to a computer and allows tracking of the insects’ movements. (SciDev.net 2011)
As the Caribbean is usually grouped with Africa in the ACP developing countries, it is quite possible that this technology including pheromone traps can be adapted here in Trinidad and Tobago as well. Its benefits are clearly astounding. Pheromone traps can be useful as they are effective against a wide variety of pests including varieties of fruit fly and borers. Further understanding of traps reveal that there are disadvantages to these devices. These are:
- sensitivity to bad weather
- their ability to attract other pests from neighbouring areas
- they generally only attract adults although it is the juveniles in many species that are pests
- also generally limited to one sex.