Farmers’ Perceptions of Rice Production Constraints and Stem Borers Management Practices in Tanzania

  •  Bonaventure January    
  •  Gration M. Rwegasira    
  •  Tadele Tefera    


Rice farmers in Tanzania continue to experience losses due to stem borers. However, the information on farmers’ knowledge and perceptions of rice stem borers is limited and farmers’ efforts on managing this insect have been ineffective. The aim of this study was to investigate constraints affecting rice production and farmers’ approaches of stem borer management in irrigated low land rice ecosystems in Tanzania. Research method: A focus group discussion with farmers using a semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The information collected included: farmers’ socio-economic profiles, farm characteristics, knowledge and perceptions of stem borers and their management practices.Farmers reported insect pests such as stem borers, white flies, leaf rollers and grasshoppers as major constraints of rice production. Other constraints reported were such as diseases, damage by birds, drought, weeds and lack of access to credit for purchasing inputs. Most of the farmers apply chemical insecticides against rice insect pests particularly stem-borers where number of health hazards have been reported. Very few farmers use cultural methods including crop residue disposal and split application of nitrogenous fertilizers for reduction of stem borer damages. The study revealed that, most farmers have limited knowledge on the recommended stem borer management practices and suggests that environmentally friendly pest management methods to be designed and implemented to minimize losses associated with rice stem borers.

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