Exploring green chemistry for the sustainable management of PCN in Kenya
About the project
UK-registered Partner: The James Hutton Institute – John Jones
Africa-registered Partner: Bio-Corn products EPZ – Pooja Doshi
Kenyan potato growers are facing huge losses due to the new, invasive potato cyst nematode (PCN) pest. Few control options are currently available for PCN. Furfural is a natural ‘green’ chemistry compound derived from waste corn cobs, with known nematicidal properties. Banana fibre paper is produced from waste banana biomass, and has properties that enable it to deliver micro-dosages of pesticidal compounds to precisely where the nematode is active.
This project will assess banana paper impregnated with low dosages of furfural for the control of PCN in Kenya. We will evaluate the impact of this new, eco-friendly technique in field trials by enclosing seed potatoes in impregnated paper at planting. This technology offers the potential for a locally produced and developed solution to a major problem faced by smallholder farmers. It offers benefits to growers and consumers, as well as a significant new market and growth opportunity for the commercial partner.