Tradition and change in postharvest pest management in Kenya
- Abe Goldman
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The hazard of postharvest pest losses is ubiquitous in peasant farming systems; as a result, farmers invariably have some response to the threat of these losses. Responses to postharvest pests may be more extensive than to field pests, even when, by statistical measures, the usual levels of losses are comparable. In studies of pest management practices in three contrasting areas in Kenya, it was found that farmers virtually always rely on an array of techniques and strategies, usually including both older and more modern practices. There is considerable variation among regions in the techniques used, due not only to climatic and socioeconomic factors, but also to variations in cultural history and preferences. The ways in which management practices have changed over time also vary by region. The major changes have been related to overall system change. Four main sources of change have been paramount: (1) population growth and the intensification of land use; (2) the introduction of new cash crops; (3) the introduction of new marketing infrastructure; and (4) the perception of increased environmental risk. Their effect on the replacement of older practices by newer ones is often interrelated. Traditional techniques are often based on materials derived from bushland, but increasing population density makes these difficult to continue as bushland and its common property resources disappear. Simultaneously, tolerance for losses is reduced as land availability is constrained. With the introduction of a cash crop infrastructure, new methods of pest management, especially pesticide use, become more readily available and may spread rapidly. Areas with good market infrastructure but varying population density may still differ considerably because with abundant land it is possible to compensate for expected losses by additional planting.
A study of an FAO project to improve postharvest management through earlier harvesting and a redesigned storage crib indicate some reasons for its lack of widespread acceptance. Little or no attempt was made to adapt techniques to varying circumstances; instead, a single “solution” was meant to be applied across areas of vastly different conditions. In many cases, this project represented a radical response to a problem farmers considered they were coping with acceptably using existing methods. Although it probably represents an improvement over traditional storage methods in purely technical terms, the new technique also often involved major costs, readjustments, and cultural disruptions that may not have been anticipated by its designers. More likely to succeed would be a strategy that begins with some of farmers' existing practices and whose objective is to develop and offer a range of possible improvements from which farmers could select individual components appropriate to their conditions and needs.
- Bodholt, Ole (1985) Construction of Cribs for Drying and Storage of Maize. FAO, Rome
- Connelly, W. Thomas Insect and weed control in subsistence farming systems: Western Kenya. In: Brokensha, David, Little, Peter D. eds. (1988) Anthropology of Development and Change in East Africa. Westview, Boulder, CO., pp. 121-135
- De Lima, C.P.F. 1976. “An ecological study of traditional on-farm maize storage in Kenya and the effects of a control action.”Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Congress on Entomology, Washington, D.C., 1976.
- Kenya National Crop Storage Study. Development Planning and Research Associates, Manhattan, Kansas
- An Analysis of an FAO Survey of Post-Harvest Crop Losses in Developing Countries. FAO, Rome
- On-Farm Maize Drying and Storage in the Humid Tropics. FAO, Rome
- --. 1982.Socioeconomic Survey of Postharvest Methods and Problems in Swaziland. FAO Action Programme for the Preservation of Food Losses in Swaziland. Field Document No. 25.
- Post-Harvest Losses in Quality of Food Grains. FASO, Rome
- FAO/DAnida. n.d. (ca. 1980). “Drying and Storage of Maize in the Husk.” African Rural Storage Center, Document No. 3 (TF/AFR/45 [DEN]).
- Giles, P.H., Ashman, F. (1971) A study of pre-harvest infestation of maize bySitophilus zeamais Motsch. (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) in the Kenya highlands. Journal of Stored Products Research 7: pp. 69-83
- Goldman, A.C. 1986. “Pest Hazards and Pest Management by Small Scale Farmers in Kenya.” PhD dissertation, Clark University.
- Hayes, Wayland J. (1982) Pesticides Studied in Man. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, London
- Jaetzold, Ralph, Schmidt, Helmut (1982) Farm Management Handbook of Kenya. Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi
- Murang'a District Annual Agricultural Report, 1975. Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi
- Yields, Costs, Prices, 1979. Land and Farm Management Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi
- Murang'a District Annual Agricultural Report, 1981. Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi
- South Nyanza District Annual Agricultural Reports. Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi
- Kenya Population Census, 1979. Volume 1. Government Printers, Nairobi
- Kenya Colony. 1958. Machakos District Gazeteer.
- Kranz, J., Schumeterer, H., Koch, W. eds. (1977) Diseases, Pests, and Weeds in Tropical Crops. Wiley, New York, Chichester
- Machakos District Co-operative Union. 1982. (District cotton production data [unpublished].
- Post-Harvest Losses in Developing Countries. NAS, Washington, D.C.
- Ofuya, T.M. (1986) Use of wood ash, dry chilli pepper fruits and onion scale leaves for reducingCallosobruchus maculatus (Fabricius) damage in cow-pea seeds during storage. Journal of Agricultural Science (Cambridge) 107: pp. 467-468
- Pepke, F.M. (1982) The Improved Maize Crib: A guide to small farm grain storage. FAO Final Report. Rural Structures Unit, Land Development Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Nakuru, Kenya
- Report of the Swedish Agricultural Mission to Kenya, 21 Sept.–16 Oct. 1981. SIDA, Stockholm
- Walker, P.T. (1983) Crop losses: the need to quantify the effects of pests, diseases, and weeds on agricultural production. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 9: pp. 119-158
- Walker, P.T., Hodson, M.J. (1976) Developments in maize stem-borer control in East Africa, including the use of insecticide granules. Proceedings of the Association of Applied Biologists 84: pp. 111-114
- Tradition and change in postharvest pest management in Kenya
Agriculture and Human Values
Volume 8, Issue 1-2 , pp 99-113
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors