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CHAPTER ONE1.0    INTRODUCTIONMaize (Zea mays) is an important food in many tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate countries, including most parts of tropical Africa (Onwueme and Sinha, 1991). It is also used extensively as the main source of calories in animal feeds and feed formulation. The economic situation in a developing country like Nigeria is adversely affected mostly by post harvest losses of Agricultural products which are usually encountered especially during storage caused by pests and other spoilage agents (Arannilewa et al, 2002).The overall goal of storage is to ensure food security and agricultural commodities are preserved in storage for the attainment of price stabilization, national and domestic food security, provision of raw materials for industry and international trade, provision for a country’s strategic stock, enhancement of a nations’ international status and provision of seeds, (Lale 2002).Severe attack by insects is one of the major constraints in profitable production and efficient storage of cereal grains. Sitophilus zeamais is one of the most destructive pest of stored grain and the primary pests of stored maize in the world (Bekele, 2002). This insect has a wide host range with a high capacity to penetrate grain mass and can infest grains in field as well as in storage and accounts for about 50% of loss in stored maize.Though various synthetic insecticides have been developed over the years for the control of S. zeamais, the cost of purchase, negative environmental impacts of synthetic insecticides including harm on non-target species, insect resistance, high mammalian toxicity and health hazards are some problems of using synthetic insecticides and these have necessitated research interest on the development of alternative control measures preferably botanical insecticides as it is safe and biodegradable.Plants produce secondary metabolites many of which act as natural defence against insects and disease causing micro organisms (Potenza et al; 2004). Secondary metabolites from plant species have been identified which include alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids which can have insecticidal properties, (Vendramim and Castiglioni, 2000; Potenza et al, 2004).    Dennettia tripetala (pepper fruit) is an indigenous fruit tree of the family Annonaceae (Etukudo, 2000). Dennettia tripetala is a well-known forest fruit and spicy indigenous medicinal plant. It is widely domesticated in the southern, eastern and western parts of Nigeria. A survey of existing literatures shows that pepper fruits contain Dennettia essential oils and phenolic acids (Anyaele and Amusan, 2003), ethanol (Okwu and Morah, 2004), alkaloids (Rossana et al; 2003), ethylacetate, flavonoids, tannis and glycosides. This study evaluated leaf powder from Dennettia tripetala as stored maize protectant against Sitophilus zeamais.

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