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Capacity Building of Tom
ato Farmers in Ghana: The Case of IPM Package
M.K.Osei1, M.B. Mochiah1, S. Miller2, R.L.Gilbertson3,
1CSIR
-
Crops Research Institute, P.O.BOX 3785, Kumasi, Ghana
2 Ohio State University Dept. of Plant Pathology, OARDC, 1680 USA
ABSTRACT
Tomatoes are a c
ritical source of culinary ingredient in Ghanaian dishes and an important cash
crop. However, production in Ghana is beset with numerous constraints such as; losses due to
pests, diseases and weeds; lack of up
-
to
-
date technology and high yielding varieties
; and misuse
of pesticides. Tomato is sensitive to pest pressure and is therefore subjected to intensive
application of synthetic pesticides some of which are toxic compounds. An integrated pest
management (IPM) strategy through Farmer field School was the
refore put in place to teach
farmers on how to minimize pest pressure, frequency and rate of pesticides application
to protect both the environment and man. Fields that were not used for tomato
production in recent past were
selected in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Upper East
regions where the trials were conducted. Early maturing and virus disease resistant/tolerant
tomato varieties from the USA including local checks were used. Tomato varieties;
Shasta, OPV1,
OPV5 and two local checks were used at Agogo and Akumadan in Ashanti,
Tanoso and Tuobodom in Brong Ahafo regions. In the Upper East region however, tomato
varieties; Shasta, Heinz, OP
-
149, OP
-
155 and a local check were used at Vea, Tono and
Pwalugu. Fields
were designated as IPM and Farmerís plot to monitor differences in crop
performance in the different farming systems. The IPM (research) beds were heat sterilized
before nursing of seeds but the farmer practice was not. A spacing of 60 x 50 cm and 100 x 3
0
cm were used in the IPM/Research and Farmersí fields respectively. Tomato seedlings
were planted in RCBD with five replications. Significant differences were observed
among the varieties used across the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo r
egions in plant height,
number of fruit per plant, fruit weight, number of plants infested with aphids and number of
dropped fruits. There were however, no significant differences in fruit borers per plot, number
of fruit dropped among the varieties in
the Upper East region. Percentage decreases were
recorded over the farmer practice in the varieties based on the number of plants infested
with aphids, number of fruit borers per plot, number of damaged fruits with holes and
number of dropped fruit per plot over farmers practice. There were however, percentage
increases in the number of fruits per plant and plot over the research field.