The project targeted to increase cotton farmers’ income by improving yields and quality of cotton, thereby reducing the cost of cotton processing by textile industries through the reduction of stickiness in cotton.
To achieve these objectives, the following activities were included in the project,
a) development of new, less toxic insecticides;
b) improvement of existing spraying equipment and development of new spraying equipment;
c) development and utilisation of biological pest control methods;
d) establishment of a techno-economic threshold for pest control;
e) dissemination of technologies through staff and farmer training, publications, workshops and distribution of guidelines for a control strategy.
The project was operationally completed in 1999 and an international workshop was held in Cairo in October 1999.
The applied research activities undertaken in the project have increased insight and knowledge on the best materials and pesticide application methods to protect the cotton crop against sucking pests (specifically whiteflies and aphids) causing stickiness in cotton. The project yielded operationally applicable results focusing on the appropriate (threshold-based) timing of pesticide applications (nymph-stage rather than adult-stage) whereby effective combinations of novel, non-toxic pesticide formulations were used in combination with increased reliance on the use of natural predators. This has brought down the earlier applied 12 – 14 sprays down to levels of 1 -2 per season. Recent, post project impact assessment has reported that in countries like Egypt and Israel sucking pests are currently considered manageable and predictable pests, the handling of which is part of routine crop management. It is no longer considered an unmanageable, threatening pest but is seen as being “under control”.
The technical details of the project results, including research results on materials developed, threshold determination, improved (“low volume”) application techniques etc. are available in the two technical summary reports produced at the end of the project. The reports are published as CFC Technical Paper no. 10 (the general, final report) and Technical Paper no. 11 (Guideline Manual on sucking pest control). Both papers are available in English and French.