This study investigates vegetable growers’ knowledge about insect pests, diseases and control methods. The study adopted cross-sectional research design, employing survey method and involving 400 randomly selected vegetable growers. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to summarize raw data. Colored cards of important pests coupled with field visits were used for pest identification. The results show that 87.1% of the tomato growers reported tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) as one of the important insect pests. Cucurbit growers reported mainly cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) and cucumber moth (Diaphania indica). Cabbage and onion growers reported cabbage aphids (Brevicoryne brassicae) and onion thrips (Thrips tabaci), respectively. Diseases reported were mainly early (Alternaria solani) and late (Phytophthora infestans) blights in tomato and onion respectively, purple blotch in onion, cucumber blight in cucurbits and cabbage blight in cabbages. Insect pest and diseases control was mainly through synthetic pesticides. Frequency of spray was highest in tomato and cucurbits followed by onion. However, the knowledge on tank mixing, record keeping and Integrated Pest Management was limited. It is critical to have a common understanding about insect pests, diseases and control methods that are environmental friendly. Therefore, farmers should be trained on different issues regarding vegetable production and safe use of pesticides. The key training areas should include tank mixing, pest identification and thresholds, and record keeping.
Key words: Control methods, diseases, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), vegetable pests.
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