Studies on farmers᾽ indigenous technical knowledge and bio-ecology of mango stone weevil - Sternochetus mangiferae Fab. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Ghana

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Studies were conducted on mango farmers‟ indigenous technical knowledge about the mango stone weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae L.) and the impact this knowledge have on the management of the weevil. Laboratory studies were also carried out on the bio-ecology of the weevil. For farmers' indigenous technical knowledge, the country was divided into three zones (Southern, Middle and Northern Zones) and structural questionnaire was administered to a total of 125 farmers chosen at rand om. Fruits were also collected from each zone and dissected to ascertain the levels of infestation. The results showed that awareness about pests among mango farmers was high (96.0%). About 34.4% and 35.2% of the respondents indicated the mango stone weevil and fruit flies, respectively , were the most important insect pests of the crop in Ghana. Only 40.8% of the respondents have adopted the use of garlic extract, pepper, neem seed extract, local soap (alata samina), wood ash and cow dung as part of the indigenous, non-synthetic materials for the management of insect pests on the crop. On the infestation of the mango fruits by the weevils, 15.6% , 38.1% and 46.1%, were recorded on mango collected from the Northern, Middle and Southern zones respectively. From bio-ecological studies, it was found that fresh mango flowers are the most attractive part to mango stone weevils ( S. mangiferae). The study also revealed that black colour significantly (P < 0.05) attracts more weevils than the other colours. This has shown that visual stimuli such as shape and colour have an effect on the habitat behaviour of the weevil
A thesis submitted to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Techno logy, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Crop Protection (Entomology), 2014