August 5, 2021

Vishwakarma University – Center of Communication for Development

An Initiative of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Vishwakarma University, Pune

A farmer receives a patent for a trap

A young farmer in Maharashtra has invented a novel trap hazardous pests and insects to end the menace that adversely affects plants and humans. His invention has controlled pests and insects such as bollworms, moths and other worms which can be devastating to agricultural crops.

 

The farmer, Mr Kantilal Bhomraj Patil, of Mangrul village, Chopda tehsil of North Maharashtra, has been granted patent 201821002187, Journal no. 05/2019, publication 01-02-2019). 

 

Kantilal Bhomraj Patil’s “EcoPest Trap’ eliminates these hazards as the invention involves the use of colored pest trap to attract a wide variety of insects. infesting commercial crops, greenhouses, home gardens, orchards, flower and vegetable gardens and agricultural farmlands. Priced at Rs 200 (two hundred only), his apparatus utilizes a sticky substance applied to the surface of the pest trap.  The number of traps required is four to 20 per acre of farm. 

Farmers and farm scientists the world over have long been struggling to end the menace. As of now, these efforts are limited to the use of chemicals that are hazardous to the crops, grazing cattle  and human beings moving around the field. The chemicals that kill the ‘killer’ pests destroy also many beneficial or ‘friendly insects’ which are present in the crops. His ecotrap is safe for the crops, cattle, and farmers.
Many agricultural chemicals are hazardous. Their application methods such as spraying may result in wide dispersion of the chemicals over inhabited areas. These toxic chemicals often enter in the food chain and prove harmful to animals and humans. 

The attracting capability of Mr Kantilal Bhomraj Patil’s device can be enhanced by using attractant mechanisms such as food lures, pheromones (chemicals secreted by insects), lights, colors and sounds that appeal to one of the senses of the insect. 

Several methods have been patented in the USA to trap pests and insects, but the type of Kantilal’s ‘EcoPest Trap’  was not conceptualised, tried, and tested in India and abroad. He has demonstrated during the field trials that the trap is effective in trapping scores of insects such as moths, white flies, aphids, jassids, thrips, onion flies, fruit flies, cucumber beetles, fungus gnats, leafhoppers, frog hoppers, flea beetles, leaf miners, cabbage white butterfly and others. 

The pest trap has a solid support of water resistant corrugated plastic or glass that enables partial reflection of light. 

The trap has LED ( (light-emitting diodes) or also natural sunlight. The LED helps to lure the insect pests that are active during the night. One or more LED light are provided with a switch them on or off. Additionally, the LED light is also connected to a timer for controlling the period of the light emission. The LED, the switch and the timer are together connected by a circuit placed securely in a box. The LED light is also connected to a sensor for sensing the decrease in the intensity of light during evenings. The sensor aids in switching on the LED. The LED remains on as per the timings set on the timer. The LED light is of not more than 0.5 to 1 Watt power and hence is cost effective. 

During the day time, LED is not required and not used. The pest trap is still active because of the color of the solid support. The solid support is made of a color which is naturally attractive to insects and pests. Although other colors are also helpful in attracting the insects, yellow, blue, reddish orange are more effective. Because of the yellow, blue or reddish orange color, the pest trap attracts the insect pests without the aid of any light source.

The power to the source of light is given by a single AA battery. The battery is a non-rechargeable and can be changed when required. The battery is optionally rechargeable and can be recharged as required. The battery can also be recharged by keeping a solar plate to recharge the battery. 

It is not always necessary to keep the LED lights on, because during fixed time of the day, because all the insects are not harmful. The power to the LED light is controlled by a timer. The timer may be an automatic timer or a remotely controlled timer that can be controlled by the mobile or such instrument of the farmer. The timer may also be connected to a sensor. The sensor senses low sunlight such as after sunset till sunrise and aids in switching the LED lights on and off.

The solid support is arranged in the soil to form a T or an inverted V or U shape and a sticky substance evenly spread on the solid support. The sticky substance is a non-drying, non-freezing, water resistant and heat resistant resin glue. Once the solid support is covered with insects, the glue may be washed off by any easily available solvent such as alcohol or acetone and the solid support may be reused several times. 

The pest trap can be placed at a required height of the plants by securing it to any suitable means such as bamboo sticks or metal rods. The trap may be dangled on trees by means of strings attached to the solid support.
The pest trap is covered with sticky material which does not dry out and therefore, the trap functions till the surface area is fully covered with insects even in the rainy season. The pest trap is non- poisonous, weather proof, easily installed and durable.
Mr Kantilal Bhomraj Patil is a science graduate from Jalgaon’s ….University with no technical background in designing and developing any agro product. He took up the  development of ‘EcoPest Trap’ sheerly because he wanted to get rid of the menace of pests and insects hovering over his own family farm at Mangarul. His trap has received an award at Indian Council for Agricultural Research, New Delhi, at Mahatma Phule Agricultural University, at Rahuri, and was presented  exhibitions and conferences in several  places in Maharashtra.