RECONNAISSANCE STUDY OF INSECT-PESTS INFESTATION OF GARDEN EGGS IN THE VOLTA REGION OF GHANA
Garden egg is a widely grown vegetable in Ghana, especially in the Volta Region where it is either cultivated in home gardens or in peri-urban environments. Cultivation of the crop in the Region is however severely constrained by insect pest infestation. This study assessed the severity of insect pest infestation and farmers’ coping strategies to infestation by these pests in the Afadzato South and North Dayi districts of the Volta Region of Ghana. Field observations and community level discussions were employed in data collection from a total of 120 farmers and 3 agri. extension agents. Field surveys identified shoot and fruit borer (Leucinodes orbonalis) infestation as the main insect pest constraint on garden eggs in the two study areas. Other pests observed on farmers’ fields included Calpodes ethlius (leaf roller), Caelifera spp. (grasshopper), Caenurgina erechtea (Larvae), aphids (Aphidoidea), thrips (Thysanoptera) , Tetranychus urticae (red spider mites) and white flies (Aleyrodidae). Farmers’ main coping strategy to the infestation of their fields by these pests was the repeated application of broad spectrum chemical insecticides such as Lambdacyhalothrin Deltamethrin, Acetamiprid, Chlorpyrifos-Ethyl, Cypermethrin and Dimethoate. Vascular wilt caused by the bacteria Rastolnia solanacearum, eggplant mottled dwarf virus and root knot nematode infection were also identified as constraints to garden egg production in the two areas. Varietal development, a formal and well regulated seed system and the development and promotion of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies is required.
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