Article Number: DRJA17087568
Vol.2 (6), pp. 60-65, July 2014
Copyright © 2014
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Original Research Article
Constraints to profitable dry season tomato and pepper production in the Kasena-Nankana and Talensi districts of the Upper East Region of Ghana with emphasis on pests and diseases
Studies were conducted into pests and disease problems of tomato and pepper in two districts of the Upper East Region (UER), namely Kasena-Nankana and Talensi in 2011/2012 irrigation season. Farmer interviews as well as practical surveillance and field diagnoses were employed in the studies. Farmers identified insects and diseases as the second most important production constraint after poor markets and prices that limit the production and hence profitability of these crops in the region. Whitefly Bemisia tabacci, leaf curl and mosaic viruses and vascular wilts were the three most important biological constraints mentioned by farmers and also confirmed from the our field surveys and diagnoses. Poor access to certified seed and high costs of agrochemicals are, in the view of most farmers, other important constraints that need to be addressed in order to promote profitable and sustainable production of tomato and pepper in the study area. Farmers lacked knowledge of alternative controls and generally relied on chemical sprays to cope with pests and diseases though these are seldom fully effective. In view of the well known adverse effects of pesticides on human health, biodiversity and the environment, it is essential to intensify educational and other awareness activities that would empower farmers to adopt integrated crop and pest management (ICPM) practices as alternatives to chemical control.
Key words: Insect pests, integrated pest management, tomato, pepper, dry season Ghana