FALL ARMYWORM (Spodoptera frugiperda) INFESTATION: FARMERS’ PERCEPTION, KNOWLEDGE AND DAMAGE IN BUNGOMA AND KERICHO COUNTIES, ITS BIOLOGY AND HOST PLANT RESISTANCE
Fall armyworm (FAW) is a new and invasive pest causing economic damage to various crops. In maize the yield loss by this pest has been estimated to be 60 %. The pest is mainly controlled using chemical insecticides which are expensive to a small holder farmer. Since the invasion of this pest in Kenya, there have been limited studies conducted on farmers’ perception, knowledge, management and extent of its damage on maize. There is also limited knowledge on its biology and resistant existing Kenyan maize varieties. The objectives of this study therefore, were: to evaluate the Farmers perception and knowledge about the pest, to determine the pest’s damage on maize, to determine its biology and oviposition preferences on maize, wheat and beans and to evaluate available Kenyan maize genotypes for resistance against the pest. A total of 120 farmers from Bungoma and Kericho counties were purposely selected and interviewed on knowledge and management of the pest using semi structured questionnaires. Damage was evaluated on 60 farms from the same counties that were selected using stratified random sampling technique. Leaf injury was rated using a scoring scale of 0-9. Biology and oviposition preferences were determined on maize, beans and wheat in the laboratory and greenhouse at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). A total of 93 Maize genotypes (37 inbred lines, 30 hybrids and 26 OPVs) were screened for resistance against the pest at ICIPE in the green house using leaf injury rating Scale of 1-9. All the farmers interviewed had knowledge about FAW. Majority (97%) of the farmers who encountered the pest on their farms estimated crop damage of 47.3%. In controlling the pest, 48% of farmers used chemical sprays, while 40% used traditional methods like ash and sand. Damage by FAW was different among the farms in Bungoma and Kericho Counties although the variation was not statistically significant. Leaf damage ranged from 0.55 to 7.33 and percentage infested plants ranged from 16% to 100%. Kericho County had highest level of damage. FAW performed better on maize and wheat than beans. The percentage survival on maize, wheat and beans in the laboratory was 18.9%, 18.3% and 1.8% respectively. In the green house the percentage survival was 11.8% on maize, 8.3% on wheat and 0.0% on beans. The pest also preferred wheat and maize to beans for oviposition. There exists resistant (tolerant) maize genotypes (16 hybrids, 3 inbreds and 3 OPVs). The study has made contribution to knowledge that is important to various stakeholders who include farmers, researchers and government.
SubjectFALL ARMYWORM (Spodoptera frugiperda) FARMERS’ PERCEPTION, FALL ARMYWORM (Spodoptera frugiperda) FARMERS’ KNOWLEDGE, FALL ARMYWORM BIOLOGY, FALL ARMYWORM AND HOST PLANT RESISTANCE
- JOSEPHINE NAWIRE SIMIYU.pdf
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