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Weed Management and insects dynamics in selected organically produced vegetables in Usambara mountain valleys, Tanzania

Saria, A (2013) Weed Management and insects dynamics in selected organically produced vegetables in Usambara mountain valleys, Tanzania. Masters thesis, Sokoine University of Agriculture . . [Submitted]

[thumbnail of Adolf Saria Msc Final Thesis.pdf] PDF - Accepted Version - English
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The aim of this study was to study weeds control and insect dynamics in organically pro-duced vegetables using different mulching materials. Experiments were at Ubiri village (38° 21’ 59” E, 4° 50’ 29” S) and Lushoto town (38o 17’ 24” E, 4o 47’ 55” S) in Lushoto district, Tanga region. Six weed management practices were applied comprising two ‘dead’ organic mulching materials (dry shoots of Tithonia diversifolia and dry leaves of Pinus patula) each at 10cm and 15cm; solarisation achieved by covering the soil with transparent polyethylene sheets for four weeks; weeding twice (standard farmers practice) and unweeded check. Treatment arrangement was a split plot with crops as main plots and weed control treatments as subplots laid out in a randomized complete block with four replications. The pines mulches (15cm) produced the highest yield of tomato (49.3 t/ha) and sweet pepper (27.9 t/ha). This mulching level was also most effective in suppressing weeds with up to 86% of weed dry biomass reduction compared to unweeded check. However, weeds of Oxalis spp. managed to penetrate through the pine mulch layer. The 15 cm pine mulch was also the most effective treatment for the control of insects pests with a significant average reduction in a mixed insect population by up to 52%. Mulching in-creased presence of beneficial comprising of mostly coccinellids, spiders and bees (up to 144%). Pine mulches was best overall in insect pest control and increased marketability of the fruits by an average of 46.8% compared to normal farmers practice. Farmers’ own assessment of the field experiments was in favour of pines mulches strategy 82% indica-tion a strong positive correlation with field research data. A simple cost: benefit analysis showed that farmers are likely to benefit from using pines mulches compared to the cur-rent farmer’ practice. It is concluded that dead pine leaf mulch could be used successfully for weed management in tomato and sweet pepper pending further research to determine successful management of Oxalis spp. The use of mulch reduced insect pest pressure while augmenting both natural enemies and pollinators in pesticide-free ecosystem as re-quired in organic production.

EPrint Type:Thesis
Thesis Type:Masters
Keywords:Weed management, insect pests, vegetables, Tanzania, mulching
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Tanzania
International Projects > Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark - DANIDA > Productivity and Growth in Organic Value-chains (ProGrOV)
Deposited By: Waweru, Miss Esther
ID Code:30731
Deposited On:10 Nov 2016 13:33
Last Modified:10 Nov 2016 13:33
Document Language:English

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