Mosquito nets for vegetables

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    Fruit and vegetable consumption in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) remains 22-82% below the intake value of 400 g/day recommended by the World Health Organization and Food and Agricultural Organization.

    This severe malnutrition leads to many chronic diseases among the populations. Vegetable growers, mainly small holders are poor and have no access to inputs for improved germplasm, pest and disease control and improved crop production techniques. Vegetable farms are routinely devastated by insects and extended drought conditions.

    We propose to harness alternative pest management techniques, micro-climate modifications, and growers’ education and training to improve small-scale vegetable production at two ecological regions in SSA. We will establish participatory programs to demonstrate efficacy of 1) Eco-Friendly Nets (EFN); insect barriers nets either treated or not treated with insecticides; and other covers at protecting vegetables against pests and associated viral diseases 2) floating row covers at improving crop micro-climate and enhancing yield and produce quality.

    Demonstration of Mosquito vegetable nets There is a new technology on use of mosquito nets to manage insect pests on tomato and cabbage, the two most important vegetables in Kenya. This technology is under verification in Kenya at three sites (KARI-Kabete, KARI-thika and Egerton University). The first step will focus on research station trials to identify and address technical constraints.

    The second step will involve a limited number of innovative farmers to identify constraints to adoption. The final step will be large-scale on-farm implementation of the technology with over 50 farmers in Kenya and Benin.

    Project Goals

    • Optimize and adapt Eco-friendly net and other row cover technologies for year-round production of vegetables under diverse local conditions (climate, crop/cultivar, irrigation, pests and pathogens).
    • Determine the costs, benefits, and socio-economic viability of EFN and row cover technologies.
    • Increase local human capacity, women empowerment, adoption and use of locally adapted adaptable eco-friendly nets and other row covers in target communities.

    Expected output

    • Improve vegetable quality and productivity by developing innovative technologies adapted to climate change
    • Improve pest control by strengthening integrated pest management (IPM) strategies
    • Reduce the dependence on pesticides and their negative environmental impacts
    • Create new jobs around the production and the recycling of Eco-friendly net

    Title of project: Reducing pests and improving microclimate for small-scale vegetable production in Africa

    Partners:

    • Michigan State University – Dr. Mathieu Ngouajio
    • CIRAD France – Dr. Thibaub Martin
    • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) – Dr. Lusike A. Wasilwa, Dr. Mo Kasina and Ms. Fatuma Omari
    • Egerton University – Dr. Mwanarusi Saidi
    • INRAB, Benin – Dr. Francoise Komlan
    • Abomey Calavi University, Benin – Dr. Anselme AdĂ©gbidi
    • APRETECTRA, Benn – Mr. Degbeffand Ahouangassi
    • A to Z International Mills, Arusha, Tanzania – Mr. Pierre Guillet
    • ICIPE – Dr. S. Subramanian
    • INRAB/CIRAD, Benin – Serge Simon

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