Here is good news for lowland rice farmers!
Research in the Philippines shows that a plant called makabuhay (Tinospora rumphii) controls striped stemborers and green and brown leafhoppers.
With fewer striped stemborers you will have fewer deadhearts and white heads among your rice plants.
Farmers can make a homemade pesticide using makabuhay.
Makabuhay is a vine that grows in the Philippines and some other tropical countries.
It is poisonous to striped stemborers and green and brown leafhoppers.
This treatment works as well as a chemical pesticide but it is cheaper and safer to use.
If makabuhay grows in your area you might want to try it.
There are two ways to prepare and use the plant.
Both methods are easy.
- In the first method the plant is chopped into small pieces, mixed with water, and applied to the rice seedlings.
- The second method is to place the makabuhay plant directly in the rice field.
Both methods will control pests because the makabuhay contains substances that poison striped stemborers and green and brown leafhoppers.
Here are the step-by-step instructions if you want to try it yourself.
For this method you will need ten to fifteen kilograms of chopped vine to treat one hectare of seedlings.
- Chop the makabuhay vine into small pieces.
- Pound them with a mortar and pestle.
- Mix the crushed vine with water.
- Add one litre of water for every 200 grams of the vine.
- 200 grams is about the weight of a small mango.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly.
- Soak the roots of the rice seedlings in the mixture overnight.
The next day, transplant your rice seedlings into the field.
For this method you will need:
- several bamboo stakes and
- some of the makabuhay vine cut into pieces one foot long
- Start with two bamboo stakes. Tie these two bamboo stakes together using six or seven pieces of the makabuhay vine.
- Repeat this process with each pair of bamboo stakes.
- Next, place each pair of stakes next to a water inlet in the rice field.
- The stakes and vines should be distributed throughout the field, and the vines should be under water once the field is flooded./li>
- Remove and replace the vines every two weeks.
These methods will help you to control striped stemborers and green and brown leafhoppers in rice.
It may take some more time and effort, but you will save money.
And a homemade pesticide like this is not harmful to the environment.
Contributed by: Ms. Adelina O. Carreno, Radio Broadcaster, Philippines.
Reviewed by: Dr. H‚lŠne Chiasson, Ph.D. Research Entomologist, and Adjunct Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
The scientific names for the insects mentioned in this script are:
striped stemborer – Chilo suppressalis
green leafhopper – Nephotettix spp.
Brown leafhopper or planthopper – Nilaparvata lugens
“Makabuhay, a natural pesticide for lowland rice,” in Low-external input rice production (LIRP): Technology information kit. International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.