Residual insecticides, inert dusts and botanicals for the protection of durable stored products against pest infestation in developing countries

  • D. Obeng-Ofori College of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences, Department of Crop Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana. Email:


Insect pests associated with durable grains and processed food cause considerable quantitative and qualitative losses throughout the world. Insect infestation can occur just prior to harvest, during storage in traditional storage structures, cribs, metal or concrete bins, and in warehouses, food handling facilities, retail grocery stores as well as in-transit. Many tools are available for managing insects associated with grains and processed food. Although pest management strategies are changing to meet consumer’s demand for food free of insecticide residues, address concerns about safety of insecticides to humans, delay insecticide resistance development in insects and comply with stricter insecticide regulations, the use of synthetic residual insecticides will continue to be a major component of stored-product pest management programmes. Selective use of residual insecticides requires a through understanding and evaluation of risks, costs and benefits. The use of plant and inert materials may be a safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of grain preservation against pest infestation among low-resource poor farmers who store small amounts of grains. There is a dearth of information on the use of plant materials by rural farmers in Africa for stored-product protection. The most promising candidate plant materials for future utilization as grain protectants are Azadirachta, Acorus, Chenopodium, Eucalyptus, Mentha, Ocimum, Piper and Tetradenia together with vegetable oils from various sources. Neem is the only plant from which several commercial products have been developed worldwide. However, unlike synthetic insecticides these alternatives often do not provide effective or rapid suppression of pest populations and may not be effective against all species of pests. These alternatives are also more expensive than synthetic insecticides, and have not been tested extensively under field conditions in the tropics. This paper focuses on the current state of the utilization of residual insecticides, inert dusts and botanicals by resource-poor farmers for protection of durable stored produce against pest infestation in Africa. A major research priority is a well designed on-farm trials to validate the efficacy of botanicals and inert dusts for stored-product protection using standard procedures and formulations that can be transferred to other communities.

Key words: Botanicals, Residual insecticides, Inert dusts, Grain storage, Storage pests, Stored products

Section: Residual Insecticides - Synthetic and Botanical