24.11.07

Creating Pesticides from Plants?

We all know that pesticides nowadays use too many artificial chemical ingredients, and it’s dangerous for our health. The chemical ingredients stick to the vegetables we eat, and then carried away into our body when we eat it. But we haven’t found a good way to get rid of pests. Using animals to eat the insects is still too expensive. Despite these problems, a young man from Indonesia has found a way to do this.

Sulfahri (18), a young man from Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia, has created pesticides from the bulbs of Dioscorea hispida, a relative to the air potato. The plant is widely known as gadung in Indonesia, and is edible if boiled. However, it contains poisonous natural chemical ingredients, and may cause nausea and vomiting if not processed well. Sulfahri made the pesticide from these chemical ingredients. The pesticide itself is especially formulated to kill a specific kind of ant that damages cocoa plants. After a long research and camping in a cocoa plantation, he succeeded in making the pesticide. His work is published in a competition sponsored by Lifebuoy®, and he was one of the winners in the category of technology developing.

Making pesticides from plants has been known in the farming business for years. Some made it from gadung, and other from tobacco. However, their works aren’t widely known around Indonesia and other parts of the world, until Sulfahri made his own pesticide and won a competition. The recipes have been published in the internet for quite a long time, but not many farmers use it. We can only hope that other farmers can start making pesticides from ingredients around them. It’s easy. If the government is willing to publish the recipes in newspapers, then the popularity of bio-pesticides – that’s what I call it – will rise. Let’s just hope, and support the government to do these acts.