New technology developed to control insects damaging agricultural yields



ISLAMABAD, Nov 08 (INP): Professors Dr. Muhammad Tufail, a Pakistani scientist working at the King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, has developed a new technology to control insects damaging various crops and expressed hope that the technology will help to increase crop yield.

Every year, the crops yield is reduced due to various insect pests if the farmers do not apply insecticides. Besides reducing the farmers’ earnings almost every insecticide has chemicals exhibiting hazardous impact on human and animal health. People living in the areas having insecticides sprays develop acute and chronic diseases.

A team of scientists led by Professors Dr. Muhammad Tufail and Abdul Rehman S. Al-Dawood successfully completed their experiments showing that reproduction of a date palm damaging insect, the red palm weevil, can be curtailed through an environment friendly biological material. Intriguingly, this technology abolishes the egg laying capability that ultimately leads to the control of this insect. Dr. Tufail’s research team data shows that reproduction of the red palm weevil can be completely blocked by disrupting its reproductive system involved in egg laying.

Dr. Tufail and his team invention has brought a ray of hope for farmers all across the world that it is possible to save their crops without applying very costly/ hazardous insecticides. The research team’s technology is environment friendly, having no hazardous impact on human or animal life. The team is comprised of several researchers hailing from Pakistan. Among them Assistant Professor, Khawaja Ghulam Rasool, graduate students Dr. Khalid and Mr. Mureed and several others participated in this project.

Dr. Tufail graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and received his doctoral degree from the Kobe University, Japan. Based on his distinctive performance he was honored with the JSPS postdoctoral fellowship followed by a regular employment in the Kobe University. In the year 2012 Professor Tufail moved to the King Saud University where he has been advising a group of researchers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. Importantly, he still holds the Visiting Professorship of the Kobe University, Japan.

Dr. Tufail is also a recipient of the Civil Award, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in the year 2013 and he serves as Visiting Professor of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and member of the global project entitled “Integration and new horizons in plant health sciences”. Professor Tufail scholarly contribution is reflected in the form of over one hundred research publications in high impact factor journals. He also serves as consultant on various projects beside his role as member editorial board of almost two dozen international journals.