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Implications of on-farm research for local knowledge related to fruit flies and the weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda in mango production

Sinzogan A.A.C., Van Mele P., Vayssières J.F.. 2008. International Journal of Pest Management, 54 (3) : p. 241-246.

DOI: 10.1080/09670870802014940

We interviewed half of the mango-growers in northern Benin, including 15 farmers involved in a regional fruit fly project, and held focus group discussions with women fruit-pickers. They were asked about pest management and their knowledge of a weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda. All considered low yields due to fruit flies to be the principal constraint upon mango production, estimating economic losses to be between 20 and 45%. None could recognize damage during the first 2 days after fruit fly egg deposition. On-farm research persuaded farmers to stop using insecticides and it also changed negative perceptions of Oecophylla. Over 80% of the farmers involved in on-farm research, compared to 25% of those not involved, reported Oecophylla to be beneficial. All fruit-pickers knew that ants protected mango from fruit flies, with 60% attributing better mango quality in terms of appearance, shelf-life and sweetness to the presence of Oecophylla. Nevertheless, 40% of the pickers still considered weaver ants a nuisance pest during harvest. Ways of reducing this nuisance need to be developed for Oecophylla to gain wider acceptance by mango-growers. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : adoption de l'innovation; changement technologique; enquête sur exploitations agricoles; lutte antiravageur; lutte biologique; mangifera indica; tephritidae; oecophylla; bénin; oecophylla longinoda; mouche des fruits

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