The product was developed through research by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi. Biovision Foundation supported this research, together with numerous other organisations. The facility for its production was set up in partnership with Kenya Biologics Ltd, in Makuyu, Murang’a County.
“Protein is an important part of the diet of adult female fruit flies. Therefore, globally, specifically identified proteins are used in bait sprays laced with an appropriate toxicant, as way of killing female fruit flies in a manner that is not harmful to people, animals and the environment. Yet, although there is high demand for protein food baits in Kenya, currently there is no local producer of the products. This means that protein baits have to be imported and retailed at exorbitant prices, which makes them unaffordable to smallholder growers,” explains Dr Sunday Ekesi, Interim Director of Research and Partnerships and Head, African Fruit Fly Programme at icipe.
“This outcome will improve the health of people, animals and the environment, and also increase the global competitiveness of fruits from Africa. As a result, we will support the transformation of the lives of millions of people involved in the value chain, as is indeed our vision,” concludes Dr Segenet Kelemu, icipe Director General and Chief Executive Officer. (ICIPE)