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Use of indigenous knowledge in the management of field and storage pests around Lake Victoria basin in Tanzania

MJ Mihale, AL Deng, HO Selemani, MM Kamatenesi, AW Kidukuli, JO Ogendo

Abstract


Agriculture in Lake Victoria basin (LVB) in Tanzania is predominantly subsistence and is characterised by perennial food deficits, cyclic famines and poverty prompted largely by unreliable rainfall patterns, declining soil fertility and food grains pests and diseases. The pest problem is more pronounced as
farmers are yet to fully integrate synthetic pesticides into their insect pest management systems due to subsistence nature of production and high poverty levels that make them rely on indigenous knowledge (IK) systems to meet their needs. The survey was conducted to document farmers’ IK on management of key field and storage insect pests in Magu and Misungwi districts in the LVB, Tanzania. Major crops grown were maize, rice, sorghum, finger millet, bean, groundnut, cowpea, green gram, brassicas, chicken pea, cassava, sweet potato, cotton and vegetables. Crops were mainly infested by Busseola
fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Spodoptera spp (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Agrotis spp (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Maruca vitrata (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Rhopalosiphum maidis (Homoptera: Aphididae), Aphis fabae (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and grasshoppers in field and Stophilus spp (Coleoptera:
Curculionidae), Prostephanus truncates (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae), Tribolium spp (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), Bruchus rufimanus (Coleoptera; Bruchidae), Rhyzopertha dominica (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) and rodents on storage. IK based control methods used by farmers ranged from animal
by-products (cow’s urine and dung), plant parts (Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae),Tephrosia vogelii (Fabaceae), Tamarindus indica (Fabaceae), Aloe spp (Asphodelaceae), red pepper, Capsicum spp (Solanaceae), Nicotiana tabasum (Solanaceae) to ash (general and specific) in the field. They also used
neem, Chenopodium opulifolium (Chenopodiaceae), Ocimum suave (Labiatae), Senna siamea (Fabaceae or Caesalpinioideae), tobacco and Eucalyptus spp (Myrtaceae) and plant by-products (rice husks, ash from rice husks and red maize cobs and general ash) to control storage pests. Most of these products were used together with one or two others in different formulation mixtures. However, the formulations
had variable amount taken during preparation, crop/ crop product treated, preparation times, modes and rates of application. Research is needed to unveil the amount for mixing, appropriate treatment, and application rate to ensure optimum concentration for specific pest. To ensure quality and safety, biosafety and quality studies are required for quality assessment of resulting product for human health. For
understanding of active compounds in the formulations, chemical composition analysis of properly prepared solutions is required.

Key words: Field and storage pests, indigenous knowledge, Tanzania, botanical formulation, Lake Victoria basin.