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The UPSCALE project aims to achieve food security in sub-Saharan Africa by using nature-based solutions, inspired by push-pull technology, to close the yield gap in smallholder agriculture

Push-pull technology (PPT) was developed in 1997 at the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Kenya. It is a mixed culture strategy that diversifies conventional grain cultivation by incorporating perennial forage crops for biological pest control and other ecosystem services. In PPT, a repellent companion crop (e.g. Desmodium) drives away pests from the main crops (the thrust), and grasses planted around the field attract and trap the crowded pests (the drag; Figure 1). Due to the lack of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, smallholder push-pull grain is de facto organic and well suited to be combined with traditional mixed and livestock farming. Cultures grown with PPT show yield increases of 10 to 360% compared to monocultures. PPT …

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