Tomato Management Practices and Diseases Occurrence in Mwea West Sub County

Margaret W. Mwangi, J. W. Kimenju, R. D. Narla, G. M. Kariuki, W. M. Muiru


Tomato is an important crop in Mwea West Sub County, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. A survey was carried out in the area to investigate tomato management practices, diseases and pests that hinder tomato production. The study endeavoured to establish farmers’ knowledge on fusarium wilt disease and root-knot nematodes and the methods used to control them. Data was collected from two hundred and eighteen randomly selected small holder producers who were equally distributed in the study area. Data collected included tomato management practices, diseases and pests that hinder production. Majority (85.3%) of the respondents were males while a few (14.7%) were female. The respondents (71.6%) indicated that tomato was the most important crop grown for income generation in the area. Most important varieties grown were cultivars, Safari, Kilele F1, Prosta F1 and Rio- Grande. Most important diseases affecting tomato crop were; early blight (Alternaria solani) and late blight (Phytophthora infestans), fungal wilts (Fusarium sp. Verticillium sp. Rhizoctonia sp.) and bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum). Plant parasitic nematodes and pests (thrips, aphids, spider mites) were also reported in the study area. There was a significant(P<0.05) association between the following variables; type of land owner and major use of land, type of land owner and cropping system, source of agricultural information and whether or not to apply pesticides into the soil. Farmers were quite knowledgeable about tomato farming as they had access to information from various sources; however there are still major gaps in knowledge especially on diseases and pests.

Keywords: Tomato, diseases, pests, nematodes, management

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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