Impact Assessment of agricultural research and development to reduce virus problems in tomato production in Mali: Farmers perceptions

Pests and diseases caused by bacteria, nematodes, fungi and viruses cause significant losses to tomato in West Africa. This study, carried-out within the framework of the IPM-CRSP implemented jointly by IITA, IER and Virginia Tech. and State University, assesses farmers’ perceptions on tomato pests and analyzes factors affecting pest management decision-making. Surveys were carried out in three tomato production areas where pests and diseases are major agricultural problems encountered by farmers. Data were collected a sample of from 343 farmers through a set of questionnaires on tomato production systems. Farmer’s decision-making in pest management was modeled using an econometrics Logit probability model. Results show that the main disease reported by most farmers is tomato leaf curl viruses transmitted by whitefly (Bemissia tabaci). The spray of chemicals was not effective on whitefly-transmitted viruses, but the observance of host free period could significantly reduce the population of whiteflies. Key factors affecting farmers’ pest management decision-making are gender; share of tomato income from household income and the level of farm income. Men are more involved in tomato production due to access to pesticide and effective demand for pesticides because of incomes (purchasing power). This paper concludes that tomato production can increase significantly if improved varieties tolerant to whitefly viruses are developed and disseminated, and farmers trained on the appropriate use of chemicals using a participatory approach to raise their level of awareness and information on effective pesticide use and pest-management decision-making.

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Advancing Technical Change in African Agriculture

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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