Solar energy gives small farmers new arms against insect pests. Validated RNRRS Output.


This is one of 280 summaries describing key outputs from the projects run by DFID's 10-year Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) programmes.

Summary for Project titles: R6503: Improvement in the storage and marketing quality of grain legumes in Ghana and R7442: Improvement in the storage and marketing quality of legumes (2nd phase).

Smallholders are harnessing the power of the sun to reduce pest damage in their stored cowpea crops. In many zones of sub-Saharan Africa, farmers depend on storage to ensure supplies and sales over the long dry season. Previously, however, the cowpea or bruchid beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus) caused serious damage to stored crops. The solution is simple but effective: appropriate exposure of cowpeas to the sun leads to a temperature rise that kills most if not all of the pests— eggs, larvae and adults—on and inside the grains. This technique is being used by smallholders in 40 villages in Ghana, as well as by farmers in Uganda.

The CD has the following information for this output: Description, Validation, Current Situation, Environmental Impact. Attached PDF (10 pp.) taken from the CD.


CPH28, New technologies, new processes, new policies: tried-and-tested and ready-to-use results from DFID-funded research, Research Into Use Programme, Aylesford, Kent, UK, ISBN 978-0-9552595-6-2, p 20.

Published 1 January 2007