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Title: Evaluation of knowledge and practices of managing citrus pests and diseases and the willingness to pay for an integrated pest management strategy in selected Counties in Kenya
Authors: Gitahi, Dorothy Wangui
Keywords: Citrus pests and diseases -- Integrated pest management strategy
Issue Date: Oct-2018
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Citrus is a major source of income in Kenya for both large and small scale farmers. However, citrus productivity has been declining over the years mainly due to pests and diseases, particularly the African Citrus Trioza (ACT), Huanglongbing (HLB) and False Codling Moth (FCM). Management of pests and diseases is sorely dependent on synthetic pesticides, which not only increases production costs but also are associated with high health and environmental risks. Use of integrated pest management (IPM) is recommended as a more sustainable alternative to widespread broad-spectrum chemical pesticide application. The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and partners proposed an integrated pest management package to address the unrelenting challenge of pests and diseases affecting citrus growers in Africa. Although integrated pest management could be an operational way of shielding the citrus fruits from pests and diseases, there was limited information on knowledge and practices on current management of African citrus trioza, the greening disease and false codling moth among citrus growers, and on farmer’s willingness to pay for a more sustainable alternative such as integrated pest management. This study aimed at filling this gap. Multistage sampling method was used to select the counties, sub-counties and citrus growers respectively. Two counties namely Machakos and Makueni where citrus production is predominant were purposively selected and 600 citrus growers chosen randomly for the interviews using structured questionnaires. Descriptive analysis and a contingent valuation method were utilized to document the grower’s knowledge and practices on false codling moth, African citrus trioza and greening disease and willingness to pay respectively, while a logistic regression model was employed to investigate the factors affecting the willingness to pay for the integrated pest management strategy. These factors were used to determine the probability that farmers would be willing to pay a predetermined price of KSH 5180 for ACT and HLB and KSH 5560 for FCM per acre for the package. Results from the study indicate that factors such as, proportion of income from citrus, knowledge of managing the pests and diseases, area under citrus fruits, distance to the nearest extension officer, had a positive influence on the intensity of willingness to pay for the integrated pest management package. Farmers were willing to pay 45% (KES 7766) increase above the pre-determined price for the false codling moth and over 60% (KES 10638) for African citrus trioza and greening disease control. The mean willingness to pay implies that farmers seem enthusiastic to try the package on their farms as a substitute to conventional pesticide use because integrated pest management helps to reverse the problem farmers encounter due to excessive use of chemicals. However, a more systematic ex-post impact assessment study should be done after the release and implementation of the strategy to assess the performance of the intervention. Adoption of IPM by the farmers will improve their welfare and living standards since citrus production will increase which eventually increase their income. It will also contribute to the economy of the country by increasing the national revenue.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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