ASSESSMENT OF POSTHARVEST PEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN NEPAL AND EFFICACY OF HYPOXIA FOR CONTROLLING SITOPHILUS ORYZAE L. (COLEOPTERA: CURCULIONIDAE)
thesisposted on 22.07.2021, 14:44 authored by Pragya KandelPragya Kandel
Farmers in Nepal lose about a third of their harvested grain due to postharvest handling and storage. This has led to food insecurity and economic losses. Despite the importance of postharvest, the grain storage system in Nepal relies on traditional storage structures like bamboo granaries. The incidence of storage pests is reported up to 100% in these structures. To minimize the storage loss, farmers use different grain protection methods including toxic chemicals. Multiple cases of pesticides-related poisoning and deaths have been caused by misuse and overuse of pesticides. To push safer, chemical-free alternatives like hermetic storage it is important to understand current pest challenges and management practices in Nepal. Adaptation of chemical-free pest management strategies like hermetic storage largely depends upon basic and applied laboratory research findings. Determining the baseline adult mortality under various hypoxia levels and subsequent insect emergence will help determine the effectiveness of a low oxygen environment in controlling Sitophilus oryzae (L.). This would increase our understanding of hermetic storage technology and help improve its application to both farmers and commercial users and serve as a possible substitute to traditional or chemical pest control methods. In chapter one, I report the result of the survey conducted in Nepal to understand i) current post-harvest storage practices and (ii) assessment of the best delivery approach for storage innovations. In chapter 2, I report the result from laboratory experiment conducted to understand the lethality of hypoxia at 5% oxygen level and below against Sitophilus oryzae (L.), which is a major storage pest reported by farmers in Nepal.