Maize, Rice, and Chickpea IPM for East Africa

ETHIOPIA | KENYA | TANZANIA

This project increases production and productivity along the maize, rice, and chickpea value chains by reducing crop losses through dissemination of effective IPM options. 

Description

Damage to rice, maize, and chickpea in East Africa affects the livelihoods of millions of farmers in the region. These staple crops are vulnerable due to a variety of biotic and abiotic factors. Presently, most commercial farmers and seed companies use regular field sprayings with insecticides in order to control insect vectors. However, this is not sustainable due to damage to non-target and beneficial arthropods, and the accumulation of pesticide residues.

These pests are highly varied, and will therefore need a number of approaches to control them. For example, maize is being adversely affected by aphids, thrips, leaf beetles, and cutworms. Stem borers alone cause around 13-15% loss of the crop. There are also diseases such as leaf blights, rusts, and stem and root rots. And maize lethal necrosis (MLN) virus poses a new threat to maize production in East Africa. Spread via insect vectors, MLN can cause up to 100% yield loss. Rice is also suffering damage from diseases such as rice blast, bacterial blight, and brown leaf spot, along with damage from pests such as white stem borer, African rice midge, and rice flea beetles. And in Ethiopia, chickpea is being affected by pests, fungi, and viruses, causing losses of between 50-100%.

Several cultural, biological, and chemical control options have been recommended for these pests, but each of the measures are not effective separately. Therefore, there is a crucial need for an IPM approach. This project will include mapping pest and disease dynamics of maize, rice, and chickpea to prioritize major pest problems. Researchers will also talk to farmers to understand the relative importance to them of the different pests, weeds, and diseases, and discuss any other constraints to production. This will allow the researchers to develop practical pest diagnostic kits.

Through the development and dissemination of IPM packages, this project will develop and implement proven, robust, and locally-adapted IPM options that will help reduce crop losses due to pests, damage to natural ecosystems, and pollution and contamination of food along maize, rice, and chickpea value chains.

Current Project Objectives

  • To increase production and productivity along maize, rice, and chickpea value chain by reducing crop losses through dissemination of effective IPM options.
  • To improve food and nutrition security, conserve the environment, increase income, and improve the health of resource-poor farmers (including female farmers) by reducing crop losses and pesticide use through development and dissemination of effective pest management practices in East Africa along maize, rice, and chickpea value chains.
  • To prepare a fertile ground for widespread dissemination of IPM in eastern and southern Africa.
  • To gather adequate empirical data to convince governments and donor institutions that IPM technology has great potential in reducing crop losses and in enhancing food and nutrition security in the region.
  • To involve farmers through their participation in the research process, allowing these end-users to identify the research priorities and problems, and to identify innovative means of transferring IPM knowledge to farmers in a cost-effective manner.
  • To diagnose emerging threats including arthropods, and fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases.
  • To evaluate IPM technologies on gender, income and environment.
  • To train a total of six graduate students through the project.

Publications

Tadele Tefera: Principal Investigator

Country Head, icipe

Ethiopia

Co-Principal Investigators/Collaborators

Asrat Zewdie

EIAR

Ethiopia

Girma Demissie

EAIR

Ethiopia

Eshetu Derso

EIAR

Ethiopia

Lusike Wasilwa

KALRO

Kenya

Charles Chuwa

ARI

Tanzania

Sophia Kashenge

ARI

Tanzania

William Hutchison

Professor and Extension Entomologist

University of Minnesota

Nsami Elibariki

National Biological Control Program

Tanzania

Paddy Likhayo

KALRO

Kenya

Tebkew Damtie

EAIR

Ethiopia