Indigenous knowledge of field insect pests and their management around lake Victoria basin in Uganda
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AbstractFood security and poverty alleviation has remained the primary agenda in the Eastern Africa regional food policies, and Uganda is no exception. Field pests that attack crops are among the greatest threat to increased food production. The subsistence farmers in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) rarely use synthetic pesticides in the field due to the high cost and availability issues. Therefore, some rely on the use of botanical pesticides and other natural methods of pest control. However, this indigenous knowledge (IK) on botanicals has remained largely unexploited with limited regional research and resources committed and these are the premises upon which this ethnobotanical fieldpests management survey was launched and conducted. Most of the respondents were women (59%). The study findings revealed that the major field pests reported by farmers in declining order of importance, included banana weevil, bean fly, cereal stem borers, pod feeders, grain moth, rodents, moths, termites, birds, aphids and cutworms. The anti-pest plants documented included, Capsicum frutescens, Tagetes spp, Nicotiana tabacum, Cypressus spp., Tephrosia vogelii, Azadirachta indica, Musa spp, Moringa oleifera, Tithonia diversifolia, Lantana camara, Phytollacca dodecandra, Vernonia amygdalina, Aloe spp., Eucalyptus spp., Cannabis sativa, Cofea species and Carica papaya. The study has demonstrated that usage of botanical pesticides in field pest management is normal around Lake Victoria basin for the subsistence farmers since all the 117 respondents had ever tried or used botanical pesticides. We recommend more specialized studies in the usage of the plant-based pesticides to ensure safety and effectiveness that will enhance food security and environment protection. In addition, appropriate recommendations generated on the issues investigated will be advanced as leads for further research, extension and regional industrial endeavors in the LVB.Key words: Indigenous knowledge, field pests, pesticide plants, Uganda, Lake Victoria Basin.