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Farmers’ perceptions of importance, control practices and alternative hosts of maize stemborers in Uganda

  • T. Kalule
  • Z. R. KhanEmail author
  • G. Bigirwa
  • J. Alupo
  • S. Okanya
  • J. A. Pickett
  • L. J. Wadhams
Article

Abstract

A survey was conducted in Tororo, Bugiri and Kapchorwa districts in eastern and northeastern Uganda on farmers’ perceptions of constraints in maize production. Farmers in Tororo and Bugiri consistently ranked stemborers and striga as the major production constraints in maize growing, while those in Kapchorwa ranked stemborers and lack of capital as the most important. Approximately 35 and 40% of the farmers in Tororo and Bugiri, respectively, identified stemborers as the ‘caterpillar’ that destroys their maize. In Kapchorwa, 50% of the farmers identified stemborers. Pesticide application was the most common control measure while the use of indigenous and cultural control measures was limited. Less than 50% of the farmers were aware of the existence of alternative plants/grasses on which stemborers feed. This study identified the need for creating farmers’ awareness on the biology and ecology of stemborers. Empowering farmers by letting them learn and experiment will facilitate the development of innovative control measures.

Key words

indigenous knowledge maize alternative hosts stemborer control Uganda 

Mots clés

connaissance traditionnelle maïs ennemis naturels contrôle des foreurs Ouganda 

Résumé

Une enquête a été conduite dans les districts de Tororo, Bugiri et Kapchorwa dans l’est et le nord est de l’Ouganda afin d’évaluer la perception qu’ont les fermiers des principales contraintes de production du maïs. Les fermiers des districts de Tororo et Bugiri considèrent les foreurs et le striga comme les contraintes majeures de production du maïs alors que ceux de Kapchorwa considèrent que les foreurs et le manque d’argent sont plus importants. Environ 35 et 40% des fermiers de Tororo et Bugiri respectivement ont établit le lien entre les foreurs et les chenilles qui attaquent leur maïs; à Kapchorwa ils sont près de 50%. La pulvérisation d’insecticide est la méthode de contrôle la plus communément utilisée alors que les méthodes culturales et traditionnelles sont peu appliquées. Moins de 50% des fermiers connaissent l’existence de plantes alternatives sur lesquelles se nourrissent les foreurs. Cette étude a permis de souligner le besoin d’informer les fermiers sur la biologie et l’écologie des foreurs. Donner la possibilité aux fermiers d’apprendre et de tester par euxmêmes devrait faciliter le développement de mesures de contrôles novatrices.

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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Kalule
    • 1
  • Z. R. Khan
    • 2
    Email author
  • G. Bigirwa
    • 1
  • J. Alupo
    • 1
  • S. Okanya
    • 1
  • J. A. Pickett
    • 3
  • L. J. Wadhams
    • 3
  1. 1.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research InstituteKampalaUganda
  2. 2.International Centre of Insect Physiology and EcologyNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Rothamsted ResearchHarpenden, HertsUK

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