Validation and dissemination of bio intensive eco-friendly management strategies for thrips-a critical constraint to cowpea production in Africa.

Grain legumes are the second most important food crop in the region cultivated by small-holder farmers. Thrips such as Bean Flower thrips (Megalurothrips sjostedti) are key biotic constraints inflicting 20- 100% yield loss. Pesticides are commonly applied to manage these pests with as high as 8 – 10 applications in a cropping season. The project focuses to assess impact of thrips infestation to grain legume productivity in the region and develop and disseminates effective IPM tools based on the use of entomopathogenic fungi; thrips attractant and conservation of natural enemies such as parasitoids in Eastern Africa. The evaluation of “Lure and kill” strategies for thrips with entomopathogens and thrips attractant, identification of the aggregation pheromone for Bean flower thrips undertaken are innovative and unique areas of research in the project.

Donors: African Union and European Union

Collaborators: Plant Research International, Wageningen UR The Netherlands; Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute, Kenya; Makerere University, Uganda; Plant and Food Research, New Zealand

Countries: Kenya, Uganda

Key staff bio data

Dr. Subramanian Sevgan – Senior Scientist, Plant Health Division

Dr. Jean Kalemba Maniania – Head of the Arthropod Pathology Unit

Dr. Sunday Ekesi – Head of the Plant Health Division

Dr. Saliou Niassy – Scientist, Plant Health Division

Dr. Alex Muvea Mutua – Consultant, Plant Health Division