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July 09, 2007

Bird repellent spray introduced to East Africa

Grain farmers in Rwanda and East Africa have cause to smile with an agricultural spray that repels predator birds. Manufactured by Impec of the United States, the spray is a bird repellent made from the chemical methyl anthranilate.

When sprayed on rice, barley, wheat, sorghum and other grain fields, it releases an eagle smell. "When the birds come they imagine there is an eagle predator in the air and they are scared off," said agronomist and marketer with Balton in Uganda, Rogers Walamaku.

Walamaku said the liquid is first dissolved in water and sprayed on the rice fields during the flowering stage. "This is the milky stage that the birds love. Bird Shield is environmentally friendly and does not kill the birds, there is no contamination of the environment and it breaks down within 7 to 10 days. There is no problem of contamination at the harvesting stage."

According to Walamaku, bird shield has been in existence for about a decade now and it has been extensively and successfully used in South Africa, and is now being introduced in parts of Uganda where small grain cultivation is taking root.

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