Push-Pull is an integrated, sustainable method of farming that increases yields by controlling pests, retaining soil moisture and improving soil fertility in a natural way.
Desmodium is planted as an intercrop between the maize or millet and its smell repels the stemborer moths – Push. The ability of the soil to absorb and store moisture is improved, nitrogen is fixed and so soil fertility is improved. In addition, desmodium decimates the striga weed and so increases yields.
Napier grass is planted as a border crap and it draws the moths away from the field – Pull. The moth larvae then perish on the sticky leaves of the napier grass. Both napier grass and desmodium are also a welcome source of healthy animal fodder.
Many in the rural areas of East Africa earn their living from farming; the majority of these are families living on a smallholding with little land. Pests, leached soils and excessive aridity are making life difficult for farmers who lack suitable, sustainable methods to increase their crop yields. The Push-Pull method can offer relief as its