Madre de Cacao is nitrogen-fixing tree. In some areas, it is referred to as a quick-stick due to the characteristic of growing almost right away just by cutting it and directly planting it in the ground. It is a fast growing tree with a maturity height of 10 meters (33 feet). It is adaptable to almost any soil environment, including infertile soils. It is tolerant to salt spray and water logging. It can tolerate drought for up to 6 to 8 months. This tree can be potentially weedy, but rarely causes a problem. Its ubiquitous characteristic makes it good alternative for feeds due to its availability in almost at all areas in the country.
Army worms, cabbage lopper, case worm, tobacco budworm, whorl maggots are examples of farm insects. Insects are the largest single group of animals in the world. About 750, 000 different kinds of insects are known, and more are being discovered every year. Human kind fights a constant battle against harmful insects. We do this in a number of ways.
One of this is by the use of insecticide sprays (An insecticide is a chemical that kills insects.) the use of pesticides allows us to produce more food than ever before on less land.
Pesticides work on a variety of ways. Some pesticides poison the pests and stop basic life processes, such as ability to breathe. Other pesticides the pests from growing normally. Insecticides that are similar to an insect naturally hormones cause the insect to grow abnormally. The insects may never grow into adult, so it would never reproduce.
Pesticides can be classified into natural or chemical. Natural pesticides comes from plant extract, while chemical are often made with sulfur and sometimes kill pests on contact. These chemical pesticides leaves toxic residue to the environment.
A study done by Alfredo Rabena, a full time professor at the University or Northern Philippines in Vigan City, found that Madre de Cacao leaves are good source of coumarins. A toxic substance that can kill almost all types of pests and insects.
Rabena said one kilogram of kakawati leaves, soaked In water overnight can produce seven gallons of “botanopesticides” (botanical pesticides).
“The more leaves, the more concentrated the pesticides he said.
Rabena said he conducted the study in 1996 in collaboration with a Malaysian chemist Dr. Nordin Lajiz at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna
“The three-year study found botanopesticides are effective pest control.” He said, adding the technology is being used by rice and vegetable farmers in eight municipalities in Ilocos sur.
Rabena said he wants to provide Filipino farmers an alternative to commercial pesticides to lessen the cost of production.
He said the Madre de Cacao plant is endemic to tropical countries such as the Philippines.
Madre de Cacao ½ kilo of leaves
Grinder or mortar and pestle
20 liters of Water
1. Pound and pour the Madre de Cacao leaves
2. Soak overnight in 20 liters of water in a pail.
3. With the use of a strainer, strained the solution.
4. Test samples of farm insects were acquired and divided into two groups, one group is placed inside the box A while the other group in box B.
5. The solution were sprayed in box A with the use of Madre de Cacao while box B were sprayed with a chemical insecticide.
6. Observe for 30 mins.
7. It was being tried with different test samples.
Results and discussion:
Out of 10 insects, the Madre de Cacao leaves only reaches 8, while the commercial insecticide all are affected.
Farm Insects affected
Farm Insects unaffected
Madre de Cacao
The result of mixing the Madre de Cacao is more safer than a commercial insecticide because it lives toxic residue for human and environment.