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International Journal of Agricultural Research
  Year: 2017 | Volume: 12 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 146-155
DOI: 10.3923/ijar.2017.146.155
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Farmers’ Perceptions on Arthropod Pests of Watermelon and their Management Practices in the Nigerian Southern Guinea Savanna

Emmanuel Okrikata and Emmanuel Oludele Ogunwolu

Background and Objective: Watermelon is adapted to a wide variety of agro-ecology and has high nutritive, therapeutic and income generating values. Arthropod pests remain its major productivity constraint around the World. Productivity can be enhanced through pest management researches that consider farmers’ knowledge gaps and indigenous control practices. This study is designed to determine the watermelon farmers’ knowledge and perceptions on arthropod pests and their indigenous control strategies within the Nigerian Southern Guinea Savanna zone. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered to 129 randomly selected farmers across 3 local government areas (LGA) in each of Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states of Nigeria under the guide of agricultural extension and communication officers in 2015. The responses elicited include farming practices, production profiles, perception and attitudes of farmers toward pests, pest damage and pest control practices. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive and inferential (Fisher’s exact test) statistics using SPSS 19.0. Results: There were no significant differences among states in socio-economic characteristics (gender, age and level of education) and cropping system. However, Fishers exact test showed significantly (p<0.05) higher proportion of farmers with 5<15 years farming experience in Nasarawa state (51.1%) when compared with Benue state (4.4%). A similar trend was observed on proportion of farmers cultivating large hectarages (>4ha). Across the 3 states, 68.5% of the respondents identified leaf beetles as the major biological constraint. In Gassol LGA of Taraba state, Agnoscelis versicolor was also designated a major pest. Infestation and damage by aphids, fruit-flies and millipedes was of serious concern to 8.4, 6.3 and 5.3% of the respondents, respectively. A large proportion of the respondents had no contact with extension service providers or with extension publications on pest control. Suppression of pest damage with synthetic insecticides was prevalent (done by 79.7% of the respondents). Spray frequencies were as outrageous as 25 times on the early-sown crop. Conclusion: This study finding underscores the need to revitalize extension services and educate farmers on pest recognition and judicious pesticide usage in watermelon production as most of the respondents depended on family, friends and pesticide vendors for pest control information.
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How to cite this article:

Emmanuel Okrikata and Emmanuel Oludele Ogunwolu, 2017. Farmers’ Perceptions on Arthropod Pests of Watermelon and their Management Practices in the Nigerian Southern Guinea Savanna. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 12: 146-155.

DOI: 10.3923/ijar.2017.146.155






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