Cultivation and marketing of vegetables for urban and export markets is emerging as an important income-generating activity for many smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. According to CSA (2018), 6.6 million farmers are currently producing vegetable crops on 208,985.91 ha of land with total production of 739,155 tones. This is very behind to the GTP of the government that needs to shift vegetable crop production and facilitate its commercialization with a special focus on high-potential areas.
Phytopathogens and insects are major barriers of vegetable production and impaired the achievements of global food security and poverty reduction. In Ethiopia, pre-harvest losses in vegetable crops due to insects and diseases are reported as high as 39 and 48%, respectively (Abate, 1996). Integrated pest management (IPM) is a leading complement and alternative to synthetic pesticides and a form of sustainable intensification (pretty and Bharuch, 2015).
In Ethiopia, 20-70% of farmers are aware of the pest problems and damage symptoms. However, they are not aware of appropriate pest management option; rather farmers use synthetic pesticides solely to manage this problem. Increased inappropriate use of this chemicals coupled with limited knowledge on the toxicological and chemical properties of this substances leads to increase cost of production, frequent pesticide-resistant pest problem, and impact on human health and ecosystem.
Therefore, an inventory to bring different effective pest management options together and develop sustainable, cost-effective and eco-friendly IPM technology which can be able to adapt and accepted by farmers is the very important aspect of pest management strategy. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop, demonstrate and disseminate an IPM technology which is eco-friendly and feasible to small-scale vegetable crop producers.
Goals: To contribute to food security through enhanced production and productivity of major vegetable crops in Ethiopia using sustainable and eco-friendly pest management technologies.
General objective: To develop and promote rational and eco-friendly pest management technologies on major vegetable crops in Ethiopia
- To develop IPM technology for major disease and insect pests on major vegetable crops
- To evaluate and demonstrate effective IPM technologies
- To reduce cost of production on major vegetable crops
- To reduce the risk of pesticide-resistant disease and insect pest problems
- To increase stakeholders’ awareness on IPM technologies of major vegetable crops
Yitayih Gedefaw Kassie, Ethiopia