A platform technology for improving livelihoods of resource poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

Africa faces increasingly serious problems in its ability to feed its rapidly growing population, resulting in high hunger and poverty incidences. Growth in agricultural productivity is essential to reduce hunger and poverty and ensure food security. Agricultural growth can be achieved by reducing incidence of the major constraints to productivity such as pests, weeds and degraded soils. These constraints are responsible for the continent’s crop productivity being the lowest in the world (around 1t/ha compared with 2.4t/ha in South Asia, 3.2t/ha in Latin America and 4.5t/ha in East Asia and Pacific), and cause high levels of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. More.....

Stemborers, parasitic striga weeds and poor soil fertility are the three main constraints to efficient production of cereals in SSA. Losses caused by stemborers can reach as high as 80% in some areas and an average of about 15-40% in others. Losses attributed to striga weeds on the other hand range between 30 and 100% in most areas, and are often exacerbated by the low soil fertility prevalent in the region. The soils are highly degraded due to continuous cropping with limited or no external inputs to improve soil fertility. When the two pests occur together, farmers often lose their entire crop. Crop losses caused by stemborers and striga weeds amount to about US $ 7 billion annually, affecting mostly the resource poor subsistence farmers. More.....

A conservation agricultural approach known as `Push-Pull' technology has been developed for integrated management of stemborers, striga weed and soil fertility. Push-Pull was developed by scientists at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), in Kenya and Rothamsted Research, in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with other national partners. The technology is appropriate and economical to the resource-poor smallholder farmers in the region as it is based on locally available plants, not expensive external inputs, and fits well with traditional mixed cropping systems in Africa. To date it has been adopted by over 207,058 smallholder farmers in East Africa where maize yields have increased from about 1 t/ha to 3.5 t/ha, achieved with minimal inputs. More.....

News and Updates

icipe Push-Pull technology halts fall armyworm rampage
Fall armyworm has invaded Africa, causing substantial damage to maize and other crops.Currently,there is no control method for this pest in Africa, and pesticides are only minimally used in the continent.Climate-adapted push-pull technology overcomes stemborers, some of which belong to the same family as the fall armyworm.On-farm data confirm effectiveness of the technology in control of fall armyworm in East Africa. Read more...

How to win the war against armyworm without pesticides
"We talked about the fall armyworm and destruction it is causing. While every other farmer is experiencing huge losses, my crop has not been attached. The difference between my farm and other farms is that I grow desmodium , a pest repellant crop", said a Push-pull farmer

Prof. Z.R Khan, President-elect of the International Branch of the Entomological Society of America (ESA)
Prof. Zeyaur R. Khan, Principal Scientist at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Nairobi, Kenya, was elected ESA Fellow in 2010. He is internationally lauded for his development and dissemination of the innovative system of "push–pull farming," which simultaneously addresses issues of crop pests, soil improvement, food security, climate change and sustainability.

Climate-smart Push-pull Technology
Improving livelihoods in drier areas

Prof. Zeyaur Khan, principal scientist at International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), exploits chemical ecology and plant behavior for developing sustainable crop protection strategies for Africa.30th March 2017,(Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus).


Anyona, like many locals in Nyanza, had never thought of dairy and fodder production, because of high cost of dairy cows, lack of feeds especially during the dry season, unfavourable climatic conditions for dairy rearing and lack of technical information. Standard Media, Kenya on 28th March, 2017.


Women in Push-pull

"From Lab to Land brings together the voices of women scientists, agricultural extensionists and farmers from across eastern Africa. The stories they tell relate the birth and development of push–pull, one of icipe’s longest-running and most successful programmes. It has now been more than two decades since the scientific discoveries that triggered the development of push–pull technology, and women have been involved from the very start", Dr Segenet Kelemu, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology . More....

 Prof Zeyaur Khan has won the prestigious Louis Malassis Prize
icipe researcher Prof Zeyaur Khan has won the prestigious Louis Malassis Prize for Outstanding Career in Agricultural Development, awarded on Monday March 16, 2015 during a special session of the 3rd Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Montpellier, France by the Agropolis Foundation. More....

Push-Pull halts fall armyworm
 Push-Pull halts fall armyworm
Major International Prize
 Louis Malassis Prize
Our Goal
“To end hunger and poverty for 10 million people by extending Push-Pull technology to 1 million households in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020”, Zeyaur Khan, Coordinator, Push-Pull Programme
A TWAS Fellow
Prof. Zeyaur Khan has been elected a Fellow of TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences.....More....
TWAS Prize in Agriculture
Prof. Zeyaur R. Khan, Principal Scientist & Programme Leader; Coordinator, Push-Pull Programme, was announced as a co-winner of the TWAS Prize .....More....
Push-pull farmers