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Farmer Reported Pest and Disease Impacts on Root, Tuber, and Banana Crops and Livelihoods in Rwanda and Burundi

Joshua Sikhu Okonya (), Walter Ocimati (), Anastase Nduwayezu (), Déo Kantungeko (), Nicolas Niko (), Guy Blomme (), James Peter Legg () and Jürgen Kroschel ()
Additional contact information
Joshua Sikhu Okonya: International Potato Center (CIP), P.O. Box 22274, Kampala, Uganda
Walter Ocimati: Bioversity International, P.O. Box 24384, Kampala, Uganda
Anastase Nduwayezu: Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), P.O. Box 73, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Déo Kantungeko: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 1894, Bujumbura, Burundi
Nicolas Niko: Institut des Sciences Agronomique du Burundi (ISABU), BP 795 Bujumbura, Burundi
Guy Blomme: Bioversity International, c/o ILRI, P.O. Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
James Peter Legg: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), P.O. Box 34441, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jürgen Kroschel: International Potato Center (CIP), NASC Complex, DPS Marg, Pusa Campus, New Delhi 110012, India

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-1

Abstract: Biotic constraints cause major crop losses and, hence, food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. This study documented the popularity, production constraints, pests and diseases, farmers’ perceptions on the severity of biotic constraints and the impact of related crop losses on household food security for the key root, tuber and banana (RTB) crops (cassava, potato, sweetpotato and banana). Farmer interviews were conducted in 2014 covering 811 households in Rwanda and Burundi. Farmers were asked to list their RTB crop production constraints, name insect pests and diseases of RTB crops, estimate crop loss due to pests and diseases, and mention if their household experienced any form of food insecurity due to pests and diseases. Cutworms and late blight in potato, banana weevils and banana Xanthomonas wilt in banana, cassava whitefly and cassava mosaic disease in cassava, sweetpotato weevils, and sweetpotato virus disease in sweetpotato were the most predominant pests and diseases reported. Crop losses due to pests and diseases for sweetpotato, banana, potato and cassava were estimated at 26%, 29%, 33%, and 36%, respectively, in Rwanda and 37%, 48%, 38%, and 37% in Burundi. Pests and diseases reduce the profitability of RTB crops, threaten food security, and constitute a disincentive for investment. Sustainable and affordable integrated pest management packages need to be developed.

Keywords: farmers’ perceptions; crop losses; food security; potato; sweet potato; cassava; rural development, IPM (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:6:p:1592-:d:214289