Published: 17th February 2021
NRRI scientists develop first-of-its-kind solar device to combat farm pest menace
The breakthrough technology is billed to be a potent weapon in the hands of the farmers to combat pest and insect attacks
Scientists of National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) here have developed a solar-based Alternate Energy Light Trap (AELT) device for effective pest management and also reducing indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides in crops.
Invented by Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist (Entomology), and Mayabini Jena, former head of crop protection division, the device is the first of its kind in the country. The scientists received a patent for the invention on February 8. The breakthrough technology is billed to be a potent weapon in the hands of the farmers to combat pest and insect attacks, which are increasing at an alarming rate.
The AELT includes a light trap unit for attracting flying insects and a collector unit for depositing them. The scientists said monitoring insects in light traps will enable the farmers to know the species that lurk in the field and whether or not they are at a manageable level. Once the insect population in the light traps crosses economic threshold level (ETL), the farmers can decide on appropriate pest management interventions.
Explaining the device, lead innovator Das Mohapatra said the light trap can be installed right on the crop fields. The collection unit has two chambers separated by a mesh with big size holes to separate the tiny insects (mostly beneficial insects) from the bigger ones. The unit further comprises a vibration assembly, which will separate the species. "Once, the mesh starts vibrating, the tiny beneficial insects will fall down and get collected in the second chamber. The non-target insects can then easily escape into the crop environment. This facility for escaping of non-target/natural enemies from the main insect collection unit is a desirable attribute for bio-intensive approach of pest management," said Dr Das Mohapatra.
The light trap unit is provided with a sensor which automatically gets lighted during twilight and switched off after three to four hours as per time set by the user in the timer. A heavy battery has been fitted with the device to store and operate the device even in the cloudy and foggy weather. The battery can run for four to five days. The device would cost between `4,100 and `8,000, Das Mohapatra said.