A review of investigations to improve pest managemet of stored maize in smallholder farms in Kenya

Research paper by G. Farrell, M. G. Hill, F. L. O. Nang'Ayo, A. Stabrawa

Indexed on: 01 Dec '96Published on: 01 Dec '96Published in: Integrated Pest Management Reviews


A 4-year project in Kenya to develop management strategies for the larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus) in smallholder maize stores is described. The entomological investigations included behavioural and ecological studies of pest activity in experimental and farmers' maize stores and the natural environment, the use of insecticides to protect maize stored as grain and cobs and the release of a biological control agent. The latter was a predatory beetle; this marks the first release of a biological control agent against a storage pest in East Africa. The operation of a national trapping network to assess the extent and future spread of the pest and predator and target control campaigns is outlined. Recommendations for the control of the stored product pests, resulting from these investigations, were tested for likely adoption and modification in the light of socioeconomic surveys and a cost-benefit analysis. A decision tree approach to managing stored product pests is suggested which allows extension workers and farmers to decide the necessity of pesticide application when assessing how best to protect stored maize.