Insects, too, hate the smell

  • 14/04/2005

Insects, too, hate the smell a bangladeshi scientist has developed a biopesticide from garlic, whose smell repels insects perhaps as much as it does humans. Integrated Pest Management Laboratory head Bahadur Meah says the garlic tablet he has made can treat seeds that can be planted on fields up to 0.4 hectare.

Developed under a four-year research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, the garlic tablet costs less than one cent (less than 45 paisa) and is used to prepare a solution in which seeds have to be dipped. According to Meah, the garlic-treated seeds have 95-100 per cent rate of germination as against 56-60 per cent in untreated seeds. Also, the seedlings are free from disease.

Almost 70 per cent of 140 million Bangladeshis depend directly on agriculture. The country imports chemical pesticides worth millions of dollars each year. But the continuous use of such pesticides has impoverished the soil, say experts.