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Eco-friendly nets and floating row covers reduce pest infestation and improve tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) yields for smallholder farmers in Kenya

Gogo E.O., Saidi M., Itulya F.M., Martin T., Ngouajio M.. 2014. Agronomy (Basel), 4 (1) : p. 1-12.

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important vegetable for supplying vitamins, minerals and fiber in human diets worldwide. Successful open field production of tomato in the tropics is limited by insect pests among other constraints. Two trials were conducted at the Horticulture Research and Teaching Field, Egerton University, Kenya with the objective of evaluating the effects of agricultural nets (agronets) herein called eco-friendly nets (EFNs) and floating row covers (FRCs) on pest population and yield of tomatoes. A randomized complete block design with five replications was used. Tomato plants were protected with either fine mesh EFN (0.4-mm pore diameter), large mesh EFN (0.9-mm pore diameter) or FRC. The EFN and FRC were maintained permanently closed or opened thrice a week from 9 am to 3 pm. Two control treatments were used: open unsprayed (untreated control) or open and sprayed with alpha-cypermethrin based insecticide (treated control). The use of EFN and FRC helped to manage pests with the lowest pest population obtained under FRC maintained permanently covered and the highest population recorded in the untreated control. Covering tomato plants with EFN or FRC also resulted in more marketable fruit and lower yield losses compared with the unprotected systems. The EFN and FRC offer great potential as part of integrated systems for pest management and yield improvement in tomato production in regions with a tropical climate. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : petite exploitation agricole; lutte antiravageur; méthode de lutte; climat tropical; protection des plantes; rendement des cultures; solanum lycopersicum; kenya

Thématique : Ravageurs des plantes; Culture des plantes

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