Economic performance of the 'push-pull' technology for stemborer and Striga control in smallholder farming systems in western Kenya

  • Published source details Khan Z.R., Midega C.A.O., Njuguna E.M., Amudavi D.M., Wanyama J.M. & Pickett J.A. (2008) Economic performance of the 'push-pull' technology for stemborer and Striga control in smallholder farming systems in western Kenya. Crop Protection, 27, 1084-1097.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Combine trap and repellent crops in a push-pull system

Action Link
Natural Pest Control
  1. Combine trap and repellent crops in a push-pull system

    A replicated, controlled study in 1998-2004 in six districts in western Kenya (Khan et al. 2008b) found higher maize Zea mays yields in a push-pull cropping system (averaging 1.9-6.3 t/ha) than in maize-bean Phaseolus sp. intercrop (0.9-3.9 t/ha) or maize monoculture (1.0-3.9 t/ha) systems. Economic benefits were also higher in the push-pull system (averaging a US$47-880/ha gain) than in maize-bean (US$-25/ha loss to a US$491/ha gain) or maize monoculture (US$-113/ha loss to a US$156/ha gain) systems, in all but one district in one year. Total production costs were typically higher in the push-pull (US$236-394/ha) than the maize-bean (US$198-344/ha) or maize monoculture (US$172-266/ha) systems in the first study year at each site. Push-pull system costs (US$200-357/ha) were equal to or lower than costs in the maize-bean (US$221-332/ha) or monoculture (US$183-293/ha) systems in subsequent years. The push-pull system (designed to control stem borers (Lepidoptera) and weeds Striga spp.) comprised alternate rows of maize and silverleaf desmodium Desmodium uncinatum, with three rows of Napier grass Pennisetum purpureum planted around plots. Controls were intercropped maize and beans and monocropped maize. Ten farmers in each district implemented the three treatments on 600-2,225 mĀ² plots. Yields were measured at harvest.

Output references
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