Farmer perceptions of cassava green mite pest impact in eastern Kenya
Daniel L. Mutisya, John M. Wambua, Douglass W. Miano, Charles W. Kariuki
Casssava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) root has been fronted as a food security staple in Africa. A household survey was carried out to determine farmer knowledge of cassava green mite (CGM) in eastern Kenya. Male headed households dominated those involved in cassava production. A majority (74%) of those cultivating cassava were above 50 years of age who had produced the crop for over 10 years. Cultivar preference was highest (90.3%) on good root taste and mealiness followed by high root yield (74.2%). This high perception of taste and mealiness show a community whose cassava root utilization was basically for food security and of little other economic use. Cultivar preference due to tolerance to pests and diseases (32.3%) was sixth. Only 29.1% of the farmers could recognize presence of CGM pest on their crop. This demonstrated the need for improved plant health dissemination tools on the part of the extension personnel and their collaborating field researchers.