Problem: The Central Tuber Crops Research Institute has developed a bio-pesticide extracted from cassava leaves which proved to be effective against pseudo-stem weevil. But there was certain issues related to its application. As is a fumigant based pesticide, it evaporates as soon as it comes to contact with atmosphere and hence it cannot be applied as normal pesticide by spraying. The workaround was to inject the fumigant directly into the infested area (i.e. Pseudo-stem of banana). But there was certain problem in application as the banana fiber getting trapped into the needle hole, thereby blocking the passage of fluid. Even after applying maximum pressure possible by hand, the fluid cannot be injected. Moreover while applying excess pressure, the liquid seem to squirt out through the piston end. Every time the block occurs, fiber residue in the needle needs to be removed using certain sharp object which was a very tedious job.
After close examination, it was observed that while piercing the outer tissue some fiber piece gets into the needle due to the peculiar design of the tip. The hypodermic needle is designed for injecting medicines to blood vessels without causing extensive damage to the tissues. Special skill in needed while working with the needle which we cannot expect from unskilled farmers.
Description of Technology: The core group was able to solve the problem by introducing a new kind of needle. A minor change in the needle design could solve the problem arising from the fiber inclusion in the needle hole.
As illustrated above, the new needle can be made out from ordinary hypodermic needles. We used two different types 0.7mm x 32mm and 1.2mm x 38mm, both commonly used for veterinary purpose and were available for a reasonable cost.
Field level application of side drilled needles was conducted in collaboration with staff from CTCRI. Pesticide was applied to about 200 plants in a banana field at Balaramapuram. The application of bio-pesticide was smoother with the improved needle. The clot formation in the needle is eliminated completely. This needle can be attached to the nozzle of common pressure sprayer, which made it convenient for application in large scale.
Target Group: Farmers engaged in large scale banana cultivation is expected to be the direct beneficiaries of the technology.
This technology is currently used by CTCRI experts and farmers.