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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2965

Cannot develop a country without allocating funds for science and technology researches

By Manjari Peiris

Colombo, 25 July, ( Using technologies alone will not help to control mosquitoes. Preventing the breeding opportunities of mosquitoes is rather important as 90% of mosquitoes that transmit dengue.

Mosquitoes breed in clean water collected in tins, bottles, plastic containers, coconut shells, rubber tyres, gutters etc. as such it is the people who are responsible for creating such mosquito breeding places, Minister of Science & Technology, Professor Tissa Vitarana said participating at a ceremony held on Thursday, at the Industrial Technology Centre (ITI) to transfer mother culture of Bacillus thuriengensis israelensis (Bt) bacteria to Bio Power Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., a Sri Lanka Industry and to deliver an introduction to the Bt technology developed by the ITI.

“Both the cause and solution in regard to mosquito breeding are with us”, he explained that in Cuba the people have been well trained on this issue and that they fulfill their responsibility with complete understanding.

The Minister thanked Dr. Radika Samarasinghe, a Senior Researcher at ITI for developing this technology which could be used where collecting of pure water cannot be avoided, such as wells, overhead tanks etc.

“Countries like Korea and Japan are spending a huge amount of their GDP for researches on development of science and technology. They do everything to uplift the health of their people. We cannot develop a country without allocating a good amount for science and technology researches. Developed countries allocate around 2.9% for S&T and for education 6-7%.”, said Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, the Secretary to HE, the President.

“Average people cannot understand what the ITI is doing in silence. It is very important that public and private sector work together.”

Mr. Weeratunga stated that His Excellency, the President, has a very positive and clear attitude towards improving science and technology in this country. “He admires the knowledge of our local people and always trying to give his maximum for the improvement of the standards of our own people.”

The technology developed and transferred by the ITI to Bio Power Lanka Ltd. is Bacillus thuriengensis (BT) which occurs naturally in our environment. It is a spore forming bacterium and during sporulation produces a parasporal crystal composed of proteins or end toxin (bacterial toxin) varying in quantity and type. This bacterial toxin infects and kills mosquito larvae. According to the ITI sources, this bacterium is safe and environmentally friendly as it is highly selective in killing mosquitoes. BT contains no toxic chemicals and has no toxic effects to humans and other beneficial and non-target organisms. Since this Bt variety is of local origin, their use does not involve quarantine clearance or the need to consider environmental issue.

The ITI have also developed methodologies of growing Bt bacterium, formulation of Bt into mosquito larvicidal products such as liquids, wettable powders, granules, pellets and slow releasing products to suit for different applications of killing larvae.

This technology is being widely used in India, China and Cuba as a means of controlling mosquitoes and is also used to control agricultural pests.

- Asian Tribune -

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