African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6336

Full Length Research Paper

Current banana smallholder farmers’ farming practices and knowledge on plant-parasitic nematodes associated with banana (Musa spp.) in Rusitu Valley, Zimbabwe

James Chitamba
  • James Chitamba
  • Agronomy Department, Midlands State University, P. Bag 9055, Gweru, Zimbabwe.
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Pepukai Manjeru
  • Pepukai Manjeru
  • Agronomy Department, Midlands State University, P. Bag 9055, Gweru, Zimbabwe.
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Nhamo Mudada
  • Nhamo Mudada
  • Plant Quarantine Services Institute, P. Bag 2007, Mazowe, Zimbabwe.
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Cleopas Chenai Chinheya
  • Cleopas Chenai Chinheya
  • Nematology Department, Kutsaga Research Station, P.O. Box 1909, Harare, Zimbabwe. 5Department of Plant
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Maxwell Handiseni
  • Maxwell Handiseni
  • Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX77843, USA.
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  •  Received: 10 November 2015
  •  Accepted: 10 February 2016
  •  Published: 31 March 2016

Abstract

Plant-parasitic nematodes are economically important pests of banana (Musa spp.) and compromise its productivity. Controlling nematode populations and good agronomic practices are pre-requisites for a good yield. A survey of farmers in the Rusitu Valley, Zimbabwe, was conducted to assess their current banana production practices and knowledge of plant-parasitic nematodes associated with banana. Respondents were selected using systematic sampling from three wards. Most farmers (61.9%) grew bananas as a monoculture, and 38.1% intercrop banana with other crops. All the farmers neither rotated banana with other crops nor practiced pest and disease control measures, and only 11.4% apply a fertiliser to their banana crops. Most (82.9%) farmers in Rusitu Valley had little or no knowledge of plant-parasitic nematodes that damage bananas. Sound extension programme in Rusitu Valley should educate farmers on the importance of managing plant-parasitic nematodes and using better banana crop production practices.

Key words: Plant-parasitic nematode, banana, production practice, Rusitu Valley.