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Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI) 2018

Addressing scale insect threats in Kenya

Kenya Insects

Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI)

Titre : Addressing scale insect threats in Kenya

Région /Pays : Kenya

Durée : Start : 01/06/2018 — End : 30/04/2020

A Kenyan working group on invasive species and vulnerable ecosystems has identified a need for increased in-country capacity to identify and monitor threats to biodiversity and livelihoods. The, incomplete, list of scale insects of Kenya shows 66 potential pests (most non-native) out of 227 species (29%). A level which is much higher than in any other group of insects (+1% for all other insects combined). Outbreaks of alien scale pests are occurring across Kenya’s neighbouring countries, whilst in Kenya more scale species have become invasive, impacting a wider range of crops and causing yield losses of up-to 91%. This puts smallholder farmers and foresters at risk of yield and income loss ; however, their awareness of this growing risk is low to non-existent. To control the pests, massive untargeted pesticide application takes place which only exacerbates pest problems by reducing biodiversity through the elimination of natural enemies. It also raises production costs and has negative impacts on human health and the environment.

In Kenya, scale insect pests are damaging native trees and crops and, consequently, causing yield losses of up-to 91%. Smallholders’ awareness of the threats posed by these insects is low because they are small and cryptic, whilst local entomologists cannot easily identify them. Pesticides are therefore misused, killing other beneficial organisms such as natural enemies and pollinators, creating more pest problems. To overcome problems faced, CABI is creating information packages for stakeholders on identification and management of scale insects that will improve practices and increase responses to pest invasions. CABI is also providing technical support that will inform knowledge gaps.

To-date, 15 taxonomists have been trained in scale insect collection and handling, preservation, slide mounting and identification. A Master student has also been selected and will undertake his research project on scale insects soon.
Future outputs of this project include : * A socio-economic survey of farmers and foresters in coastal agro-ecologies of Kenya to establish knowledge and practices for managing scale insects * A biological survey to collect and identify scale insects, with associated natural enemies * The development of distribution maps of scale insects across Kenya, comprehensive reference collections, and associated database, aimed at improving relevant research and advisory infrastructure. * Information packages aimed at engaging various stakeholders to help raise awareness of scale insects and sustainable management practices * Engage research and policy makers through an engagement meeting and

Partenaires : Natural History Museum UK (Project Lead) * National Museum of Kenya (NMK) * CAB International (CABI) * Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) * Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) * Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) * University of Nairobi (UoN)

Donateur : Darwin Initiative

Présentation : CABI

Page publiée le 12 décembre 2019