Rice farmers affected by paddy bug should investigate this neem-based chemical

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letters of Rudolph Singh (Kaieteur News 14th April) and Ganga Persaud (Stabroek News 3rd May 2019) in which they complained about the lack of action on the paddy bug problem in the country.

For what it is worth, I would like to share my limited experience on this subject.

Some years ago, the Beacon Foundation carried out rice cultivation trials in Moco Moco, Rupununi. In the first year we experienced significant paddy bug infestation. However, following research on the internet, we identified a neem-based liquid which we sprayed on when the paddy bug was at the nymph stage of development. There was subsequently almost zero infestation. We shared this information with the Guyana Rice Development Board and suggested that they might want to pass it on to rice farmers. It seems this was not done. Since ours was a one-off trial, we would like to pass this information on to interested farmers for further trials. Unfortunately, we can’t remember the name of the chemical, but this can be researched on Google.

Very little is known in Guyana about the effect of neem on insects. It does not have a knock-down effect, but instead affects the reproductive system of harmful insects and thus reduces the population significantly. The amazing characteristic of neem is that it affects only pests, and does no harm to beneficial or pollinating insects. Apart from the well known fact that neem leaves put between rice, peanuts and beans reduces weevil infestation to almost zero, neem has many other health benefits. Best of luck to farmers in further experiments.

Yours faithfully,

Clairmont Lye

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