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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Low-cost pest exclusion and microclimate modification technologies for small-scale vegetable growers in East and West Africa

Video from project partners about eco-friendly nets reducing the need for pesticide use, also available in French.


Photo slideshow of the project, or view our Nets for crop pests in Kenya album on Flickr.

Target Countries: Benin and Kenya

Principal Investigator: Mathieu Ngouajio, Michigan State University and William Vance Baird, Michigan State University


Project Description

Rapid urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has resulted in an increase in demand for food. Almost 33% of the SSA population, close to 200 million people, is undernourished (FAO, 2006). Fruit and vegetable consumption in SSA remains 22-82% below the intake value threshold of 400 g/day recommended by the World Health Organization and Food and Agricultural Organization. This severe malnutrition leads to many chronic diseases among the populations. Vegetable growers, mainly small holders are poor and have no access to inputs for improved germplasm, pest and disease control tools, and improved crop production techniques. Vegetable farms are routinely devastated by pests and extended drought conditions.

We propose to harness alternative pest management techniques, micro-climate modifications, and growers’ education and training to improve small-scale vegetable production in East and West Africa. A participatory approach will be used to demonstrate efficacy of 1) Eco-Friendly Nets (EFN); insect barrier nettings (either treated or not with insecticides) at protecting vegetables against pests and associated viral diseases 2) floating row covers at improving crop micro-climate and enhancing yield and produce quality, 3) Assess and address farmer’s perception of EFN in order to increase the adoption and use of the technology.

Project Website:

Fact Sheet:

fact sheet thumbnailPest-exclusion nets protect crops (PDF)


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