Economics of Insecticide use and Potential for Bt Maize Varieties in the Control of Stalkborer in Kenya.

Maize is the staple food crop and source of income for majority of the Kenyan population and many sub-Saharan African countries. The increasing Kenyan population demands an increase in maize production if intermittent food deficits have to be averted. Since the introduction of improved maize varieties in mid-1960, the start of Green Revolution period, maize yields increased drastically up to 1970s and started declining from 1980’s to-date. The key contributory factors are nutrient mining, sub-optimal input use and insect pest damage. Of the insect pests, stalk borer is of economic importance. Currently, KARI and CIMMYT are developing maize varieties that are tolerant to stalk borer damage. In order to evaluate the potential impact of these interventions economics of stalk borer control at farm level was evaluated. Surveys complemented with on-farm trials were executed in six major maize growing zones of Kenya. Farmers were randomly selected and a sample-frame established after which a total of 1854 households were randomly selected using random sampling technique. Each household was interviewed using structured questionnaire. Data on method of stalk borer control and the type insecticides used was collected. Partial budget and economic surplus models were used. The results indicated that very few farmers control stalk borer in maize despite significant stalk borer losses of about 15%. Therefore if Bt maize is introduced in Kenya it is likely to reduce these losses. This will benefit many hungry and poor Kenyans with improved household food supply and on farm incomes, in line with Government policy of food security and poverty eradication.

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AAAE Conference Proceedings No.1

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-23

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