Bullock Heart Tree: ICRISAT intern awarded for developing bio-insecticide from ‘ramphal’ leaves

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Source: The post is based on the article “ICRISAT intern awarded for developing bio-insecticide from ‘ramphal’ leaves” published in Down To Earth on 20th December 2022

What is the News?

A Research intern at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has won the prize for developing a cost-effective bio-insecticide from the leaves of bullock’s heart tree (Annona reticulata), popularly known as Ramphal.

What is Bullock Heart Tree?

Bullock’s heart tree (Annona reticulata) is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree in the plant family Annonaceae and part of the Annonas group.

It is best known for its fruit, called custard apple, a common name shared with fruits of several other species in the same genus: A. cherimola and A. squamosa.

Uses: Bullock heart tree’s extracts have traditionally been used to cure conditions including dysentery and pediculosis (louse infestation)

– Extracts from its leaves may also be useful against three destructive pests — Pod borer, Green peach aphid and fall armyworm — with a mortality rate of 78-88%. All these pests are known for incurring crop losses to farmers.

What is ICRISAT?

ICRISAT is an international organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia & sub-Saharan Africa. 

It helps farmers by providing improved crop varieties and hybrids and also helps smallholder farmers in the drylands fight climate change.

Founded in: 1972 by a consortium of organizations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP.

Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana with several regional centres in Nigeria, Kenya, Mali etc.

Mandated crops: ICRISAT performs crop improvement research, using conventional as well as methods derived from biotechnology on the following crops: chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut,  pearl millet, sorghum and  finger millet.

Status in India: Since its inception, host country India has granted a special status to ICRISAT as a UN Organization operating in the Indian territory making it eligible for special immunities and tax privileges.

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