Some 2-3% of the foodgrains stored are destroyed by pest attack leading to a loss of Rs 1,300 crores. A pair of insects (pests) can generate 15,000 insects. Each year, an insect can destroy 30 kg of rice. Though there are organic methods to control these pests, nearly all farmers use phosphene tablets to kill them through chemical means.
In the process of manufacturing organic food, too, phosphene tablets are used to kill pests. This raises the question of whether there are organic methods to control pests.
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University professor Mohan who is a plant protection expert says the organic food that is produced uses organic fertilizers and pesticides but during storage of these foodgrains phosphene tablets are used. He says TNAU has developed a device called Probe Trap for this purpose. If this trap is inserted into the gunny bags it can find out if there are any insects in the foodgrains.
TNAU has developed an insect remover in three sizes: one size cleans 3-5 kg of foodgrains, the second 50 kg in one hour and one with 1hp motor. The last one is for large storage. These are best for pest control of large foodgrains.