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A Survey and Perception of Farmers on Okra (<i>Abelmoschus Esculentus</i> (L.) Moench) Diseases in the Rain Forest Agroecology of Kwara State, Nigeria


TH Aliyu

Abstract

One hundred and twenty okra farms in twenty locations in the rain-forest agroecology of Kwara State, Nigeria were  surveyed. The objectives were to study the socio-economic characteristics of okra farmers and ascertain the incidence of okra diseases. Disease incidence was estimated based on thirty (30) plant observations per field and the  percentage incidence was based on number of infected plants relative to the total number of plants. The list of okra farmers in each farm site formed the sampling frames from which okra farmers were selected using a random  sampling procedure. In all 120 okra farmers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The disease survey showed that okra was very susceptible to pathogenic diseases in the study area. The results however indicated variation in disease incidence across locations (46.8 to 62.7%). The socio-economic analysis revealed that the  farmers were predominantly migrants (66.7%). They were mostly males (91.7%), married (65%), in the age bracket of 30 to 39 years (45.8%), with formal education (67.5%) and majority had farming experience of 31 to 40 years (38.3%). The farmers (88.3%), also adduced diseases to be a problem on okra and 47.5% rated diseases as being very severe on the field. A proper enumeration of disease incidence in relation to agroecology is key to the design of effective control measures. An up-date on the socioeconomic status would also ensure that the potential of the farmer is judiciously harnessed in order to achieve optimum okra production in the study area.

Keywords: Agroecology, Diseases, Incidence, Okra, Socio-economic factors, Survey.