Volume 2 Number 4 April 2016

Effects of Cropping Patterns on the Flea Beetles, Podagrica Spp. (Coleoptera: Crysomelidae), In Okra-Kenaf Intercrop System

Authors: Onayemi, S. O. ; Soyelu, O. J. ; Amujoyegbe B. J.
Pages: 40-44
The pattern of field infestation by the flea beetles, Podagrica spp., was assessed in okra-kenaf intercrop system with a view to determining a cropping pattern that would assist in controlling the pest problem. Okra and kenaf were intercropped in row combinations of 1:1, 1:2, 2:1 and 2:2 while sole-cropped okra and kenaf served for comparison. Field sampling for flea beetles commenced three weeks after planting and it lasted till the 12th week, a period that extended to the postharvest stage of okra. There was a significant difference (P Ë‚ 0.01) between the population of the two Podagrica spp. (with P. uniforma being more abundant than P. sjostedti) and among the six planting patterns. The pest population also differed (P Ë‚ 0.05) between the two crops and among (P Ë‚ 0.001) the vegetative, reproductive and postharvest stages of okra. Sole kenaf had a significantly higher level of infestation by the flea beetles followed by sole okra and two rows of okra intercropped with one row of kenaf in descending order. All the other three intercrop patterns had a significantly lower infestation level. Kenaf attracted more flea beetles than okra at the vegetative stage while stumps of okra left in the field after harvesting was over sustained a significantly higher population of flea beetles. Obtained results showed that intercropping could be used, especially by poor rural farmers, as a pest control strategy against Podagrica spp. Due to the considerable population of flea beetles sustained by okra stumps, farmers should be encouraged to get rid of leftovers after harvesting as a way of further controlling Podagrica spp. The combination of intercropping and farm sanitation would assist in reducing reliance on synthetic chemical insecticides.

Post Harvest Losses in Tomato in the Esikuma Odoben Brakwa District of the Central Region of Ghana

Authors: Evans Ntim Amedor ; Isaac Krampah
Pages: 35-39
The aim of this study was to investigate factors influencing postharvest losses in the Esikuma Odoben Brakwa District of the Central Region in Ghana. Simple random procedure was used to select the operational areas and accidental sampling procedure was used to select sixty tomato growers. Results on socio-economic characteristics of farmers revealed that, majority of the farmers, 61.7% were males, 48.4% were in the active workforce of 25-40, 60.0% married and 71.7% had farm sizes ranging from 1-3 hectares.51.7% of the farmers had education up to the primary level, 71.7% had household size between 2-8 and 86.7% of the farmers had less than 15 years’ experience in the crop production. Consequently, The major causes of postharvest losses in the crop indicated by farmers include lack of storage facilities with 86.0%, followed by bad road networks with 76.0%, lack of processing facilities with 64.0% and lack of ready market with 62.0%.It was also revealed that almost all farmers in the study area preserve the produce by pouring on bare cemented floor covered with grasses and also store in shallow baskets. In summary, all the identified factors have proved to have significant impact on post harvest losses and that when managed well, food security would be ensured without necessarily cultivating an additional hectare of land.