Potential Impact of Tsetse Fly Control Involving the Sterile Insect Technique

  • U. Feldmann
  • V. A. Dyck
  • R. C. Mattioli
  • J. Jannin

Summary

Hunger and poverty persist in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Many affected communities could produce enough food for themselves, and even for sale, if they had the basics — livestock and crops. In most of these communities, the presence of tsetse flies and the disease they vector, trypanosomosis, prevents optimal productive livestock-keeping and mixed farming, resulting in inadequate local food production. Since a vast majority of the rural communities depends on agriculture, the removal of a key development problem like tsetse and trypanosomosis (T and T) will permit increased local agricultural production, socio-economic and market development, and alleviate hunger and poverty. A sustained alleviation, if possible a complete, lasting removal of the T and T problem, is therefore considered a prerequisite to rural self-sufficient agriculture, in which productive livestock can provide milk, meat, draught power to cultivate the land, and eventually generate higher income and market opportunities. Hence the removal of such a key problem would catalyse overall development in rural areas. However, the poverty and food security status of communities in Africa is rather heterogeneous, and reflects the impact of various constraining factors, including T and T on the current agricultural production process and human wellbeing, as well as on the overall development potential. Correspondingly, the benefits to sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD), resulting from an elimination of the T and T problem, will also vary from area to area. In view of the substantial funding required over the next decades to address this key problem, and the need for early “success stories” that show tangible benefits, it is important that the initial T and T control areas are carefully selected according to technical feasibility, and to the predicted potential in the context of SARD. Trypanosomosis is a major, but technically solvable, development problem, and the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique (SIT), as a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes to create tsetse-free zones, has been demonstrated in Zanzibar and other locations. This chapter (1) outlines the causal relationship between the T and T problem and food insecurity, malnutrition, poverty, and related disease and development constraints, (2) describes the impact of the problem on African rural communities and the overall economy, and (3) indicates the potential benefits of a reduced T and T burden, or even of its zonal elimination from selected priority areas in support of sustainable rural development.

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Copyright information

© IAEA. Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Feldmann
    • 1
  • V. A. Dyck
    • 1
  • R. C. Mattioli
    • 2
  • J. Jannin
    • 3
  1. 1.Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and AgricultureInternational Atomic Energy AgencyViennaAustria
  2. 2.Animal Production and Health DivisionFood and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly
  3. 3.Communicable Diseases, Control, Prevention and EradicationWorld Health OrganizationGeneva 27Switzerland

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