There are many different ways of controlling pests without buying expensive chemicals.
- Coating beans with a thin layer of edible oil before they are stored, is known to make it difficult for some insects to breathe. Unrefined cooking oils such as palm oil are best. These are cheap and take longer to become rancid. Shea butter is also effective. Before cooking, soak and wash the beans well.
- Mixing grains with equal quantities of wood ash helps prevent pests from reproducing. Mix well before storing. Small quantities of lime can also be used instead. In both cases, wash the grains very well before cooking and eating!
- If possible, collect materials and experiment with these different techniques. Discuss what oils are easily available and might prove useful.
- What are the dangers of using oils which are not edible?
- Are there any other similar methods that participants are aware of ?
- Try storing some beans with edible oil and some beans without oil in similar conditions. Compare how effective the different methods are after a few weeks and again after several months.