Repellent Plants: Livestock sector plays a key role in the economy of many developing countries. This sector produce animal protein, human diet, food, employment, income and foreign exchange to some extent.
Milk is the product of this sector that provides quick returns for livestock keepers. In the developing countries small scale livestock keepers produce the vast majority of milk where demand is expected to increase by 25% by 2050.
Pakistan is the 4th largest milk producer in the world. In Pakistan regarding the dairy sector there is a lack of research and demonstration. Contribution of this sector to GDP is far more than all major crops.
Livestock sector contributes 11% to GDP where the contribution made by crop sector is 10.3% in GDP and 47.3% in Agriculture. Contribution of livestock sector to agriculture is 50%.
Pakistan dairy industry suffering from a number of problems including lack of commercial dairy farms, poor nutrition, lack of productivity, lack of well developed infrastructure and poor financial condition of farmers.
In Pakistan’s dairy industry there are many diseases that result in economic loss of farmer, among these small pox, avian, classical swine fever, hog, cholera and anemia are the major diseases that are causing major losses to livestock keepers.
Mostly causing agents of these diseases are mosquitoes and some other insects. The harmful effects of mosquitoes on Pakistan’s dairy industry cannot be underestimated.
Ruminants can lose up to 300 ml blood in one day if they are exposed to large swarms of mosquitoes thus causing anemia and even deaths of dairy animals occurs. This will result in the reduce productivity and eventually low income of farmers.
During summer season, flies and mosquitoes are common around dairy farms. However, this problem is out of control of human resources; but we can overcome this problem by growing mosquito repellent plants in immediate vicinity of dairy animals.
These plants with the help of their natural fragrance can keep away the mosquitoes and insects from farms, introducing wonderful scents throughout the farms and avoiding the losses that could be caused by mosquitoes.
A detail of these plants is as under:
- Lemon grass: lemon grass is used to get citronella oil, this oil is proved very successful in repelling mosquitoes. Any plant of this family that has a strong, citrus fragrance play an important role in preventing the entrance of bugs and other insects in vicinity of farms.
- Peppermint: It is a natural insecticide that can repel mosquito and save animals from their harmful effects if it is applied to the exposed skin of animals. By exposing mosquito larva to a solution of peppermint oil and water for 24 hours there growth can be inhibited and also causing their death.
- Marigolds: It has pyrethrum a compound that is a component of many insect repellent. If marigolds are potted at the entrance of your farm and other mosquito entry points they will prevent the entry of harmful insects and mosquitoes to the livestock farm and protecting the farmers from the economic loss and low productivity.
- Garlic: Garlic easy your environment and use to make powerful insect repellents. It does not affect the beneficial insects. Growing garlic can do the trick and prevent the entry of insects on farms.
- Basil: Basil is a plant with outstanding mosquito repellent properties because it produces pungent aroma even when the leaves are not crushed. It control the entrance of insects and mosquitoes. You can pot this plant at the entry of points of livestock farms.
- Rosemary: It is a herb with excellent mosquito repellent properties. Their woody scent play an important role in keeping the mosquitoes and flies away from the farm. They have the ability to grow in low temperature and also show best performance in hot and dry climate. They can be pruned into different shapes to enhance the beauty of farm.
- Citrosum (aka mosquito plant): It is a perennial plant actually marketed as mosquito repellent plant. Some time it is also referred to as citronella plant because it has strong “citronella scent”. This plant also helps us to control the insects attack on dairy farm.
- Geranium: A plant that is recommended as a mosquito repellent with excellent insect repellent properties. The most affected type geranium is lemon scented type, play an effective role to keep the insects away from the boundaries of dairy farm. They are growing gorgeous bloom of this plant also enhances the attraction of farm.
- Pennyroyal: It is another excellent plant that is natural repellent of bugs and it is also very effective against mosquitoes. It can simply planted outside the dairy farm so they discourage the insect entry. If the crushed stem in pocket during the farm visit it is guaranteed that you will keep the mosquitoes away from yourself. It can be grow both outdoor and indoor.
Except these plants there are also some other plants that are mosquito repellent like catnip, lavende, cataga tree, bee balm, catmint and lemon balm.The plants that are listed are more effective and potent when their oils have been extracted and they do excellent job in repelling mosquitoes.
With the help of these mosquito repellent plants the dairy diseases can be control to larger extent and also improve the livestock production. So these plants prove very helpful for livestock section and also play role to increase our livestock production with natural ways.
Authors: Aqsa Ahmad, Iqra Basharat