Push - Pull

PUSH - PULL for control of pests by using repellent “push” plants and trap “pull” plants.

The non-chemical technology has been developed for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of stemborers, striga weed and soil fertility.Also , notably for control of Fall Army Worm.


Push-Pull was developed in Kenya at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE ).

The technology is appropriate and economical to smallholder farmers as it is based on locally available plants and fits well with traditional mixed cropping systems.

To date it has been adopted by over 147,505 smallholder farmers in East Africa where maize yields have increased from about 1 t/ha to 3.5 t/ha, achieved with minimal inputs.

The technology involves intercropping maize with a ‘push’ plant, such as desmodium, and planting the attracting ‘pull’ plant, such as Napier grass, as a border crop around the main crop.

Gravid stemborer females are repelled or deterred away from the target crop ‘pushed away’ while they are simultaneously attracted ‘pulled’ to the trap crop, leaving the main crop protected.

Other benefits:

  • Fixes nitrogen

  • Conserves soil moisture

  • Enhances arthropod abundance , bio-diversity and improves on soil organic matter

Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the farm.These “friends” can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.They include lady beetles, lacewings , spiders , centipedes and millipedes.

  • Enables cereal cropping systems to be more resilient and adaptable to climate change

  • Makes farming systems more robust and sustainable