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Modern Research Journal of Agriculture

Modern Research Journal of Agriculture Vol. 1(1), pp. 1-9, June, 2014
Copyright 2014
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article


Full Length Research Paper

Effect of cropping systems on infestation and severity of field insect pests of cowpea in Morogoro, Tanzania


Eliakira Kisetu*, Beatrice Thomas Nyasasi and Magreth Nyika

Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3008, Chuo-Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania.

*Corresponding author. E-mail:  

Accepted 29 May, 2014




Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) is one of the leguminous crops that provide protein for Tanzanian population. However, its production is threatened by biotic and abiotic factors, insect pests inclusive. Field trial was conducted during the 2014 cropping season to determine the effect of cropping systems on the field insect pest of cowpea. The sole cowpea and cowpea-maize intercrop systems using cowpea variety Vuli 1 were used to execute this study. The population of aphids (Aphis craccivora Koch.), and thrips (Megalarothrips spp) were identified to be very negligible and classified as minor pests. Bean leaf beetle (Cerotoma trifurcata (Forster)) was the major pest which significantly damaged leaves of cowpea more in intercrop than in sole cowpea. Results also showed that intercropping increased severity of the damage caused by C. trifurcata to the cowpea with rating scales of 8 in sole cowpea and 9 in cowpea-maize intercrop. Based on the Pearson correlation analysis, the severity of damage and the extent of leaves recovery were positively and highly correlated with the number of leaves per plant (r = 0.96**), undamaged (r =0.97***) and damaged (r =0.90**) leaves. It is necessarily inevitable that more studies should be conducted to verify if the identified leaf beetle will continue to exist in Tanzania using different cropping systems of legumes. This also should be accompanied by the appropriate control measures of the insect pest.

Key words:
aphids, Cerotoma trifurcata, cowpea, intercropping, thrips..

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