Charles Opperman and Julie A. Willoughby of North Carolina State University in the U.S. worked to develop a low-cost biodegradable paper substrate containing nanoparticles for the controlled release of active compounds as a seed treatment against crop-destroying pests. The seeds will be wrapped in the paper during planting. This project's Phase I research tested different types of paper, and banana paper was selected for optimum release of an anthelminthic compound and ability to protect crops without affecting plant growth. They also developed a simple banana pulping method for production in local settings. The Phase II grant (awarded to Charles Opperman) will allow them to extend their results from the Phase I grant (awarded to Julie A. Willoughby) and perform field trials on three crops with smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to determine the effect of their control approach on pest levels and crop yield.
More information about Protect Crop Plants from Biotic Stresses from Field to Market (Round 8)