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Salvaging tomato production in Kenya from pests and diseases

ARF2-2 Salvaging tomato production in Kenya from pests and diseases
Image: via Flickr (by: Fred Inklaar)
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Project description

Aim: Tomato plays a critical role in meeting domestic and nutritional food requirements, generation of income and creation of employment for both the rural and urban populations in Kenya. However, at the moment tomato production is facing serious challenges with Tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) and Fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex. Farmers are getting up to 80-100% crop losses due to this insect pest and disease complex. A team of scientists from Koppert Kenya, Koppert BV and Kenyatta University will develop, validate and disseminate Integrated Pest Management strategies that are effective, sustainable and adoptable to combat these menaces.

Objective: The general objective of this project is to improve tomato production in the peri-urban tropics through development, validation and dissemination of Integrated Pest Management strategies for Tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) and Fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex within smallholder farms in Kenya.

Specific objectives are:

  • Establishment and authentication of the current status of diversity and identity of tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) and Fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex in Mwea Kenya.
  • Management of Tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) and Fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex within smallholder farms in Kenya.
  • Development, validation and implementation of integrated pest management strategies for tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) and Fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex with special emphasis on the use of biological control products.

Method: A cross-sectional survey will be conducted to establish and verify current status of diversity and identity of Tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta), Fusarium wilt and root-knot nematode in Mwea Kenya.
Two sets of trials will be set up in selected farmers’ fields in Mwea region to demonstrate IPM strategies in management of tomato leafminer and fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex. Farmers will play a key role in assessing these strategies. The trials will be laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications.
Different biological insect pest and disease management strategies for management of Tuta absoluta and fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex will be developed and validated through trials both in a greenhouse and farmers’ fields. This will entail use of monitoring (Delta traps+Pheromones) and mass trapping (Water traps, Sticky traps & Pheromones) strategies for Tuta absoluta and use of NatuGro System for fusarium wilt-root-knot nematode complex. Different product rates of application and combinations will be assessed in order to develop and recommend the most adaptable and sustainable strategy.

Country: Kenya.

Dutch policy goal: Increased sustainable agricultural production.

Duration: August 2015 – July 2018

 

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