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How to make a working model on agriculture and technology?

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Greg Allen answered
One example of a working model that involves technology to assist in agricultural methods is the push-pull technology that is used to control pests in agriculture. The technique uses two stages that can control pests affecting crops such as maize. The technology was developed in Kenya at the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology.

The two stages of the technology are as follows:

• Push
The push is when the plants repel the pests themselves from the main crop. This is achieved by planting small plants called Desmodium in between the rows of crops. The plants do not grow very high so they do not interfere with the growth of the crops themselves. The Desmodium deter the pests by emitting chemicals that the pests do not like. This enables the crops to grow at a steadier rate, and there is less likelihood of crop damage. The deterring plant also has the advantage of improving the fertility of the soil, as it is high in nitrogen, the levels of which are released into the soil.

• Pull
The pull element of the technology is similar to the push but it attracts the pests away from the crops. Wild grasses are planted in and around the crops of maize, and these grasses attract the pests by emitting chemicals that the pests are attracted to. This leaves the crops free to grow, and reduces the effect of damage from pests.

Combining the two elements can produce a successful harvest of crops, and is far safer than spraying the crops with pesticides, as they can not only damage the environment, but they can also have problems getting deep enough into the plant to affect the pests.

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