Implementation of integrated thrips and tospovirus management strategies in smallholder vegetable cropping systems of eastern Africa

Onion, tomato and French bean are key vegetables cultivated by smallholder farmers in eastern Africa for both the domestic and export markets. Thrips (e.g. Frankliniella occidentalis and Thrips tabaci) and thrips-transmitted tospoviruses (e.g. Iris yellow spot virus, IYSV; and Tomato spotted wilt virus, TSWV) are key constraints inflicting 20 –80 % loss to these vegetables. Smallholder farmers heavily depend on ecologically unsustainable chemical pesticides with up to 12–15 sprays per season resulting in pesticide resistance and residues, and resurgence of secondary pests. Consequently, the project builds on the outcomes of the BMZ/GIZ-funded phase-I activities to develop and implement integrated thrips and tospovirus management strategies that include effective thrips monitoring, use of entomopathogenic fungi and/or botanicals, intercropping and host plant resistance, use of plant endophytes and improved biopesticide application strategies. Capacity building on thrips research among scientists and students and implementation of Thrips IPM strategies among agricultural extension officers and farmers is also a key focus of the project.


  • Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


  • University of Hannover, Germany
  • University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Plant Research International,
  • Wageningen UR, The Netherlands,
  • Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute, Kenya
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • AVRDC – The World Vegetable Centre
  • HORTI-Tengeru, Tanzania

Research staff