twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Benin study reveals weaver ants boost cashew yield

The presence of weaver ants can increase cashew nut yields by up to 150 per cent, say researchers

Benin study reveals weaver ants boost cashew yieldAfrican weaver ants prey on fruit flies and their larvae, which are a major pest for cashew farmers. (Image source: IITA/Flickr)

The ants, known by their Latin name ‘Oecophylla longinoda’, reportedly act as an effective natural foil to a range of insect pests; most notably the West African fruit fly, which has been known to cause considerable damage to cashew crops.

The claims followed a two-year Danish-funded study in Benin, during which cashew trees with weaver ants patrolling were found to produce between 78 and 151 per cent more harvestable nuts than those without.

“The presence of weaver ants patrolling the trees provides protection against pests,” biologist Jean-François Vayssières told SciDev. “They can have a direct impact by capturing insects as prey, through excretions that act as a repellent or simply by their physical presence.”

Vayssières, who heads a separate project aiming to control fruit fly numbers at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), added that his studies had shown the ants’ pheromones acted as a repellent to the pests.

Cashew nuts are an important crop throughout Africa, including in Benin, where they have overtaken cotton as the primary export.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double rice production to curb food insecurity

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double…

President Adama Barrow has received a delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to The Gambia, HE Kim Ji-Joon, at the State House in Banjul to announce the delivery of sample rice...

World Sustainability Organization chooses Zambia as the first African Sustainability Hub

World Sustainability Organization choose…

The World Sustainability Organization and Foundation (WSO&F) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zambian Government, to make Zambia the African Sustainability Hub 

Rallying call to improve African and global cotton production

Rallying call to improve African and glo…

As the business of cotton production continues to attract global attention, there are concerns about how sustainable the practice of growing, harvesting, and production will be, especially for lower income...

Research and farming institution from Zimbabwe wins FAO Award

Research and farming institution from Zi…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) honoured three research and farming institutions, one of which was from Zimbabwe

Building community and ecological resilience through forest landscape restoration

Building community and ecological resili…

The Atebubu and Wiase Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) Living Lab is offering a more resilient food system, greater income and the opportunity to restore nature to farmers living in the...

European Investment Bank to support increased rice production in Liberia

European Investment Bank to support incr…

The European Investment Bank is planning to support large-scale investment to increase rice production and enhance food security in Liberia

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

Malawi needs to shift from subsistence to commercial farming: President

Malawi needs to shift from subsistence t…

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera has urged the country to transition from largely subsistence farming to industrialised commercial farming, in order to meet the goal of making the country food-sufficient by...

FAO aims to unlock Africa’s potential to end hunger and malnutrition

FAO aims to unlock Africa’s potential to…

The director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, says that the potential of Africa gives him hope that the fight against poverty and...

Adesina named as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate

Adesina named as the 2017 World Food Pri…

Being named as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), pledged to devote the US$250,000 prize money to support young African farmers...

FAO continues to fight Desert Locust upsurge amid COVID-19 constraints

FAO continues to fight Desert Locust ups…

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is continuing its efforts to contain the Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa despite restrictions on the movement of personnel and equipment resulting...

Nigerian government to create millions of jobs in agriculture sector

Nigerian government to create millions o…

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has announced plans to create three and a half million jobs in the country's agricultural sector

US$28.3mn project to cut rice imports in Guinea inaugurated

US$28.3mn project to cut rice imports in…

A programme to reduce Guinea's reliance on rice imports has been officially launched with the support of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) – a multilateral development initiative created by...

Child labour in agriculture is increasing, driven by conflict and disasters: FAO

Child labour in agriculture is increasin…

After years of steady decline, child labour in agriculture has started to rise again in recent years, threatening efforts to end global hunger and poverty, according to FAO as it...

Madagascar receives ARC Insurance payout for drought

Madagascar receives ARC Insurance payout…

The government of Madagascar received a symbolic cheque on 7 July for US$2.13mn from the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) to cover anticipated losses to livelihoods from...

Sweden steps up to help farmers, herders in Africa's Sahel region

Sweden steps up to help farmers, herders…

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that Sweden will support dought-hit farmers and herders in the Sahel region of Africa

Rwanda receives World Bank support

Rwanda receives World Bank support

The World Bank has approved an US$80mn International Development Association Credit for Rwanda to boost its food production

CNH Industrial becomes Augmenta’s strategic partner in crop sensing and machinery automation

CNH Industrial becomes Augmenta’s strate…

Acquiring a minor stake in Augmenta, CNH Industrial becomes Augmenta’s strategic partner in crop sensing and machinery automation, and also foresees future joint research and development collaboration

Gates Foundation’s US$13.8mn project to improve banana cultivation in East Africa

Gates Foundation’s US$13.8mn project to …

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has launched a US$13.8mn Seed Farmer Market Consumer (SeFaMaCo) programme to improve banana production in East African countries by developing higher-yielding, disease-resistant varieties

Prev Next