|ISHS Acta Horticulturae 911: I All Africa Horticultural Congress
HORTICULTURAL PEST MANAGEMENT AND THE AFRICAN ECONOMY: SUCCESSES, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN A CHANGING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
|S. Ekesi, A. Chabi-Olaye, S. Subramanian , C. Borgemeister
|horticulture, trade, economy, arthropod pest, IPM, climate change, invasive
In many African countries, horticulture is the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector contributing significantly to national incomes.
Diverse vegetables, fruits and spices are grown for domestic and export markets.
Horticultural exports in Africa has increased by more than 50% in recent years and currently contributes >20% of agricultural exports by volume and income generation.
Despite the growth, production has not kept pace with increasing demand due largely to biotic constraints attributed to arthropod pests.
Agricultural research aimed at reducing insect pest damage can lead to increased horticultural production and improved rural livelihoods. icipe in collaboration with National Agricultural Research and Extension Services (NARES) in several African countries has developed, packaged and disseminated a number of economically and environmentally viable insect pest management interventions for a range of important horticultural crops.
The Diamondback moth (DBM) biocontrol program in eastern Africa reduced insecticide applications on Brassica crops from weekly to just one or two sprays in a season, thereby significantly reducing the production costs (financial and environmental) and potential human and environmental health risks associated with frequent insecticide sprays.
The return on investment of the DBM project was estimated at 24:1, with an internal rate of return of 86%. The introduction of affordable integrated pest management (IPM) technologies based on classical biological control, baiting techniques, biopesticides, male annihilation technique and orchard sanitation to control the invasive fruit fly Bactrocera invadens, has led to increased access to export market among mango growers.
Although biocontrol-based IPM has so far been a successful intervention in some of the cases, long-term sustainability is likely to be adversely affected by emerging issues such as climate change, occurrence of more invasive species, changing consumer demands related to quality and standards, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and trade issues.
Forging closer public/private partnerships for horticultural research and development should be the way forward to achieving sustainable production and improved rural incomes.
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