Integrated Pest Management of the Sweetpotato Weevil: A Pilot Study in South Central Jamaica

The sweetpotato Weevil, Cylas formicarius (Coleoptera: Apinoidae) is one of the most yield limiting pests affecting sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas (Family; Convolulaccae) production in Jamaica. Losses as high as 50 percent of total yield have been reported. Effective low resource biologically based technologies which are readily adaptable including the: use ofselected cultural practices and masstrapping with high doses ofsweetpotato weevil sex pheromones, have been successfully used in Asia to manage the weevil. Under the CARDIICRSP IPM research programme, six fanners in three districts in South Central Jamaica were selected to demonstrate the effectiveness ofthis sweetpotato weevil IPM technology under local growing conditions. An initial baseline survey was conducted to determine the fanner's perception of the pest and the production practices being utilised. A modified farmer field sehool approach was used to disseminate the IPM technology to the pilot fanners. At harvest, weevil populations were estimated traps baited with low doses (10 ug) of weevil sex pheromones and crop loss assessments executed on IPM pilot farms and neighbouring farms within the target districts. Depending on the socio-economic factors, pilot farmers utilised the IPM technology to varying degrees. In comparison to neighbouring farms, IPM pilot farmers had significantly less weevil infestations and root damage (P<0.050). Marketable yields were also higher on the majority ofIPM farms but, overall this was not significant (p>0.05). With special considerations to the socio-economic factors identified, refinement of the IPM practices currently being recommended are discussed. Also, the observations on the irpprovements in the knowledge base and competence of the pilot farmers in IPM are examined in relation to the principle based approach used to transfer the technology.

Issue Date:
Jul 12 1998
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:

 Record created 2017-05-08, last modified 2018-01-23

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