An Appraisal of Farmers’ Termite Control Methods in Some Traditional Cropping Systems of West Africa

UMEH, V. C.

ABSTRACT: Between 1993 and 1997, farmers’ termite control methods were surveyed in maize and citrus-based systems in Nigeria, and in groundnut-based systems in five West African countries. Interviews and field observations showed that the same species of
termites, Macrotermes attacked the main crops and some of the intercrop species. Nasutitermes spp. that attacked citrus were not associated with any of the
companion crops in citrus intercrops. Farmers reported 5-100 % damage to maize, 0-20 % damage to cassava intercropped with maize, 0-40 % and 12-90 % damages to citrus and ground nut respectively. Although chemical and cultural control methods were applied by less than 35 % of the farmers in each of the three main crops, most of the pesticides used against termites were not ideal for meaningful termite control and may have contributed to the unsatisfactory control results. Only about 20 % of the farmers that controlled termites indicated satisfactory results. An appraisal of the cultural control practices of farmers involving the use of indigenous live plants or their extracts to repel termites in infested farms was made. Those that
have been found to be effective and those that need further evaluation were highlighted. The consumption of termites as a means of termite population reduction was also discussed.

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