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Articles by Nelson N. Ntonifor
Total Records ( 1 ) for Nelson N. Ntonifor
  Nelson N. Ntonifor
  Increased demand for more sustainable agricultural practices and organic products coupled with renewed awareness of potential negative effects of conventional pesticides on the environment are serving as impetus to resort to reduced-risk plant-based pesticides. Most indigenous tropical African spices like Aframomum melegueta, Afromomum citratum, Piper guineense and Xylopia aethiopica are often advantageously widely used as low-cost, eco-friendly, low-risk pesticidal alternatives to the conventional synthetic pesticides. These usually hot tasting, highly aromatic and strongly pungent culinary spices are often associated with ethnomedical uses. Several empirically validated studies have confirmed that these very odorous, locally available folkloric plants in Africa are potent insect feeding deterrents, repellents and often possess fumigant and/or insecticidal activities as well as have potent antimicrobial activities against major pathogens. Since some constituents of essential oils from aromatic plants hinder the octopaminergic nervous system unique to insects, these culinary spices are hence potential sources of reduced-risk pesticides. Given the prospects of global warming, when it is postulated that most pestiferous organisms will experience shortened developmental cycles and hence altered seasonality and increased number of generations per any given time, demand for easily available and biodegradable, low-cost and low-risk pesticides for low-income peasant farmers and organic farmers in general will likely increase. This study therefore gives a synoptic overview of the uses of the aforementioned spices as antifeedants, repellents and insecticides as well as antimicobials. Prospects and challenges for vulgarizing these potential alternative plant protectants in the face of anticipated climate change and hence large-scale ecological and agricultural changes are also highlighted.
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