Reviewed by Kristin Davis

In EDN 64-5 we reviewed a report from Lowell Fuglie of the Church World Service in Senegal on his successful project with Moringa oleifera. He has published another book with CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU) on natural crop protection in West Africa.

Part one of the crop protection book lists 67 plants and other resources that can be used for crop pest control without having to rely on chemicals. Fuglie tells what pests each solution is effective against and gives specific instructions on how to prepare it. For example, under #19, finger millet, he lists the Latin and local name. He then writes, "Scatter stems and leaves [of finger millet] as mulch around plants to deter caterpillars, cutworms (Agrotis spp) and snails (Phylum mollusca). Sprays made from stems and leaves soaked in water can be used against fruit flies (Tephrididae spp). Plant finger millet around other crops to serve as a 'trap crop' against armyworms (Spodoptera spp)."

In part two, methods for protecting stored crops are listed. The author gives a list of over 45 plants that are effective in protecting stored food and describes exactly how to use them. Other methods such as using heat, manure and oils are also explained.

Parts three and four contain lists of the most common West African insect pests and plant diseases, and treatments against them.

Maintaining soil fertility is the subject of part five of the book. Fuglie covers composting, green manuring and the use of termites (zai holes) to increase soil fertility.

In part six, the author explains companion planting and crop rotation. He also lists the 11 most common vegetable crops for West Africa and details the cited pests and diseases for each crop, how to plant the crop and suggestions for pest and disease control.

At the end of the book are lexicons for plant disease, insect pests and plants in English, French and Latin. The plant lexicon also includes four West African languages. References for the book are cited and there is an index at the end, making it easy to look up specific plants, insects or diseases.

The book provides very simple and precise explanations of how to use different methods of crop pest control. Although the book is written for pest control in West Africa, many of the pests, plants and techniques can be found and used throughout the Tropics and the book would be useful for anyone seeking local solutions to pest control.

Publication Details

  • Publisher: Church World Service, West Africa Office