Optimising Pesticidal Plants: Technology Innovation, Outreach and Networks

OPTIONs is a project funded by the European Union's ACP Science and Technology Programme. The project is about optimising the use of pesticidal plants, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

tephrosia with farmer
Tephrosia vogelii is a fast growing woody shrub with pesticidal properties. It is also good for soil improvement as it fixes nitrogen and is deep-rooted, bringing minerals closer to the surface. For these reasons, farmers will often plant Tephrosia as a cover crop or inter-crop it with their maize.

OPTIONs is officially led and managed by Professor Phil Stevenson from the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich. The project is a collaboration with many experts from Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe. More information about the OPTIONs team can be found on the Partner page.

This website aims to provide information about the OPTIONs project as well as to act as a repository for general information about the use of pesticidal plants for crop protection. General information can be found on the Background pages, the Publication page.

Raising awareness about pesticidal plants, the advantages they have over synthetic pesticides to improve people's livelihoods, and delivering innovative ways to sustainably manage insect pests are important goals of the OPTIONs project. More details about the project can be found on the About the Project pages. And if you have any questions about our work, please make contact with us through our Contact page.

OPTIONs has also developed four email and web based discussion forums around four topics of importance to developing and promoting pesticidal plants. These groups allow members to post questions and information to each other related to the specific topic. If you want to find out more about these groups and would like to join them, please see the below links.

I am happy to let you know that we managed to get farmers from the coast (Kwale, Kenya) to plant Neem seedlings. The nurseries are planted by youth groups. On the 14th May 2015, with the said youth groups, we are planting 2500 Neem seedlings for its pesticidal benefits.

OPTIONs project team
OPTIONs project team at the inception workshop held at the World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya