By Abigail Klein Leichman - July 23, 2018
In the Central Valley of Togo, a mango grower named Yacuobuo started killing his trees due to fruit-fly infestation that has decimated his crop over the past three years.
In this main mango-growing region of Africa, many other small farmers face the same dilemma. And their loss extends to the “mango women” who sell the fruit at market.
“Before 2010 [we lost] 50% [of the fruit], but now 75% of fruits are spoiled,” Yacuobuo said before the start of this year’s growing season. “The women would come and say, ‘We go to Lome [the capital city] after we see all the mangos we bought from you are spoiled.’ And then I was discouraged, and after that I stopped. I didn’t sell.”
When Israeli agtech entrepreneur Nimrod Israely heard Yakuobuo’s story, he relates, “I thought to myself, this is why I studied entomology; this is why I founded Biofeed! And so I simply said to Yakuobuo, ‘Let’s change it.’”
Israely, who has a PhD in fruit-fly ecology, invented FreeDome — a line of no-spray, environmentally friendly lures containing an organic customized mix of food, feeding stimulants and control or therapeutic agents delivered by a patented gravity-controlled fluid release platform to kill the tiny flies that destroy fruits and vegetables growing in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Read More: Israel21c