Identification Of Cassava Cropping Systems That Minimize Pests And Diseases PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:31

Mutisya D.L.1*, E.M. Gichangi1, C.W. Kariuki1 and J.M. Wambua1

1 KARI-Katumani Research Centre, P.O. Box 340-90100, Machakos, Kenya

* Corresponding author: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Farmers in Eastern Kenya continue to intercrop cassava with different legume crops. The advantage and benefits of such cropping systems is not well conceived by farmers in terms of pest and disease loads and the final yield advantage. Fertilizer requirement in cassava cropping systems is unknown to most farmers in the region.  A field experiment was carried out at Kikesa (Yatta) and Katumani (Machakos) of eastern Kenya to identify suitable cassava cropping systems which minimize cassava pests and diseases like cassava green mite, Mononychellus tanajoa Bondar and the two major diseases, cassava mosaic (CMD) and brown streak(CBSD). The intercrop systems were bean, cowpea and pigeon pea-cassava systems. Within the subplots various fertilizer levels were factored in. Sole cassava cropping system was the control treatment. The results indicated that cassava spider mites were not deterred by other crops and fertility levels in the field. Cassava diseases were least in pigeon pea-cassava intercrop even though the same crop plots had the highest number of the disease vector, Bemisia tabaci (Genn.).  Early poor cassava plant establishment was observed in cowpea and bean intercrop systems which consequently had lower final yield output.

Key words; soil nutrients; pests and diseases; intercrop systems; economic benefits; crop enterprise; spider mites

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