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IAEA to brief on Sterile Insect Technique in Africa

On May 9, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be briefing on the success of the Sterile Insect Technique in increasing agricultural productivity and boosting income in Senegal

The USA is the exclusive funder of around US$5mn IAEA peaceful uses initiative (PUI) project, “Contributing to Agricultural Development in West Africa through the Control of Tsetse Flies and Trypanosomosis,” having contributed US$4,993,367 to this project since its inception in 2010.

The project aims to eradicate the tsetse population (Glossina palpalis gambiensis) from the Niayes region, northeast of Dakar using the IAEA’s Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The tsetse fly population is now approaching confirmed eradication and the project has had significant positive socioeconomic benefits on farmers in the region.

These results indicate that the technology has the potential to improve productivity and human health in other countries in the region. The continuing presence and advancement of tsetse into new agricultural systems prevents sustainable and profitable livestock system in almost two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa.

The are many benefits of using technology such as

· Significant reduction in crop and livestock production losses

· Protection of the horticultural and livestock industries through prevention of pest introductions

· Significant reduction in production and human health costs

· Environmental protection through a reduced use of insecticides