Intercropping as a Component in Insect Pest Management for Grain Cowpea, Vigna Unguiculata Walp Production in Nigeria

  • Aliyageen M. Alghali
Research Article


A series of experiments involving plots of sole cowpea and sorghum/cowpea intercrops were carried out, on-farm, in Minjibirr village, northern Nigeria between 1986 and 1988. The objectives were to:

  1. (1)

    elucidate the relationships between sorghum/cowpea Intercropping, insect pest numbers and grain yield reductions in cowpea.

  2. (2)

    examine the role of sorghum/cowpea intercropping alone or together with reduced Insecticide-usage in the management of cowpea insect pests. Different cowpea varieties were grown under both cropping systems in sprayed and unsprayed plots.


The insecticides used were Sherpa Plus and/or Cymbush Super ED. Intercropping reduced the numbers of flower thrips and pod sucking bugs, but made no difference to the numbers of pod borers. Unprotected sole crop and Intercropped cowpea had yields reduced by 55 and 48% respectively, compared to sprayed subplots. The best results were obtained with three Insectlcldal sprays, which increased grain yields 4.5-fold. Intercropping with two sprays produced lower, but comparable yields. Thus, it is suggested that intercropping can be used with reduced insecticide levels for the effective management of cowpea insect pests.

Key Words

Cowpea intercropping sole cropping flower thrips pod borers varieties insecticides 


Des séries d’expérimentation comportant des parcelles de niébé en monoculture et des associations de culture de sorgho/niébé ont été conduites en milieu paysan, dans le village de Minjibirr, situé dans le nord du Nigeria, entre 1986 et 1988 avec les objectifs suivants:

  1. (1)

    établir les relations entre l’association culturale sorgho/niébé, le nombre d’espèces d’insectes ravageurs et la réduction en rendement du niébé.

  2. (2)

    examiner le rôle de l’association culturale sorgho/niébé seule ou avec usage réduitd’insecticides dans la lutte contre les Insectes ravageurs du niébé. Différentes variétés de niébé ont été utilisées dans les deux systèmes de culture aussi bien en parcelles traitées que non traitées. Cymbush Super ED et Sherpa Plus sont les insecticides qui ont été utilisés. L’association culturale réduit le nombre de thrips des fleurs de même que celui des punaises suceuses de gousses mais n’a aucun effet sur les populations des foreurs de gousses. Le niébé en monoculture ou en culture associée sans protection donne des rendements réduits de 55 et 48% respectivement comparées aux parcelles traitées. Avec 3 applications d’insecticides on a obtenu de meilleurs résultats et un rendement 4.5 fois plus élevé. L’association culturale avec 2 applications d’insecticides produisent des rendements inférieurs mais comparables. Aussi il a été suggéré que l’association culturale peut être utilisée avec des niveaux d’insecticides pour la lutte effective contre les insectes ravageurs du niébé.


Mots Clés

Niébé association culturale monoculture thrips des fleurs foreur de gousses variétés insecticides 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alghali A. M. (1991) Studies on cowpea farming practices in Nigeria with emphasis on insect pest control. Trop. Pest Manage. (In Press).Google Scholar
  2. Alghali A. M. (1992) Insecticide application schedules to reduce grain yield losses caused by insects to cowpea in Nigeria. Insect Sci. Applic. 13, 725–730.Google Scholar
  3. Altieri M. A., Francis C. A., Schoonhoven A., Doll D. J. (1978) A review of insect prevalence in maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) polycultural systems. Field Crops Res. 1, 33–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amoako-Atta B. and Omolo E.O. (1983) Yield losses caused by the stem/pod borer complex within maize-, cowpea-, sorghum intercropping systems in Kenya. Insect Sei. Applic. 4, 39–46.Google Scholar
  5. Amoako-Atta B., Omolo E. O. and Kidega E.K. (1983) Influence of maize, cowpea and sorghum intercropping systems on stem/pod borer infestations. Insect Sei. Applic. 4, 47–57.Google Scholar
  6. Ezueh M. I. (1981) Nature and significance of preflowering damage by thrips to cowpea. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 29, 305–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ezueh M. I. and Taylor T. A. (1984) Effect of time of intercropping with maize on cowpea susceptibility to three major pests. Trop. Agric. (Trinidad) 61, 82–86.Google Scholar
  8. Jackai L.E.N. and Daoust R.A. (1986) Insectpestsof cowpeas. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 31, 95–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kyamanywa S. and Ampofo J.K.O. (1988) Effect of cowpea/maize mixed cropping on the incident light at the cowpea canopy and flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) population density. Crop Prot. 7, 186–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Matteson P. C. (1982) The effect of intercropping and minimal application on insectpests of cowpea and their natural enemies in Nigeria. Trop. Pest Manage. 28, 372–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Osiru D. S. C. and Willey R. W. (1972) Studies on a mixture of sorghum and beans (Phaseolus sp.) with particular reference to plant populations. J. Agric. Sei. 79, 531–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Rachie K. O. (1986) Introduction. In Cowpea Research Production and Utilization (Edited by Singh S. R. and Rachie K. O.), pp. xxi–xxviii. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Raheja A. K. and Hayes H. M. (1975) Sole crop cowpea production by farmers using improved practices. Trop. Grain Legume Bull. 1, 6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aliyageen M. Alghali
    • 1
  1. 1.ICIPE/IITA ProjectInternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture (UTA)IbadanNigeria

Personalised recommendations