Natural Pest Regulation for Orphan Crop Legumes in Africa is a new project (BB/R020361/1) funded by the BBSRC GCRF programme, under the SASSA scheme. It involves the Agricultural Ecosystems team - NRI, NM-AIST, LUANAR and Egerton University.
The project will seek to optimise the management of field margins in order to maximise natural pest regulation potential across multiple under-researched crops in Eastern African. This will involve molecular elements to provide identification tools for key beneficial insect species, fieldwork, resistance screening and station trials.
The inception meeting was held on 12th October 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania, with partners organising implementation of the different activities and contributing ideas and contacts. The project will build on underpinning research already carried out as part of the Darwin Initiative project between RBG Kew, NRI, LUANAR and NM-AIST but develop the pest management angle further. As a result, we look forward to continuing to collaborate and draw on expertise of early-career scientists such as Prisila Mkenda who has been studying field margins and natural enemies during her PhD and MSc students such as Juliana Godifray who carried out work on companion planting pesticidal plants.
The project team at the inception meeting visit to NM-AIST.
Prof Stevenson meets with Elisante and Prisila to talk about their work, findings and ideas for future research.