Farmer’s knowledge of termite species and infestation in eastern Uganda

Girma Hailu, Nathan Ochatum, Philip Nyeko, Saliou Niassy

Abstract


Termites are very well recognized by farmers as pests and beneficial insects. To develop management options suitable to the needs of the farmers, it is essential to understand their management experience. This study was aimed at understanding farmer’s perception about termite management in eastern Uganda. The study covered over 84 villages located in seven districts of eastern Uganda. There were 420 respondents for the survey and a focus group discussion (comprised of eight to 15 participants) specifically with push-pull technology adopters found in four districts. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed using STATA (version 13). Respondents were diverse in terms of age, gender, level of education and marital status.  According to the respondent’s termite damage can cause food insecurity and poverty. The prevalence of termites and damage potential varies across districts and type of crop and growth stage. Some are vulnerable at germination, some at vegetative and some at maturity stages. Averaged over three districts, farmers claimed that maize is more vulnerable to termite attack causing about 40% yield loss followed by beans, soybeans, and sorghum. Push-pull technology adopters stated that green leaf desmodium intercropped with maize to control major lepidopteran pests and a parasitic weed striga was vulnerable to termite attack. Although pesticide application can be an effective option, they claimed it is either expensive or not a lasting solution.


Keywords


Termites, Indigenous technical knowledge, Tororo, Busia, Mbale, Bugiri, Iganga, Bukedea, Pallisa

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