Farmers’ indigenous knowledge, perception and management practices of American fall army worm (Spodoptera frugiperda J. E. Smith) in maize crop productions in West Hararghe Zone, Ethiopia (Published)
The study was carried out to determine the farmers’ indigenous knowledge, perceptions on the infestation and damage level of American Fall Army Worm (AFAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda J. E. Smith) in maize cultivated fields at Chiro and Darolebu districts of West Hararghe zone, Ethiopia during the main cropping season of 20l8 to 2019 and also to assesses the indigenous knowledge and how the farmers manage AFAW in maize crop fields to further design and improve appropriate control mechanisms for the study areas. Sampling technique was purposive for identifying districts that had high maize crop production potential from both districts. From each district, three localities were selected purposively. A total of 207 respondents (51 Key Informants (KI) and 26 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) per each locality from both study districts were interviewed and generated both qualitative and quantitative data on AFAW insect pest and its local management practices and losses in maize crops. All the respondents were reported that AFAW was caused damage and yield losses on maize fields at both study districts. They also reported that AFAW was in general feeders which attack many crop species. In the farmers‘ opinion, maize (76% and 72.88%), sorghum (13% and 18.56%), and millet (11% and 8.56%) were considered as the most susceptible at Chiro and Darolebu districts, respectively. On average, more than 25.90 % of the controls against this pest in all the study areas were often done through chemical and cultural control methods. The main control methods were used both insecticides and cultural at Darolebu (55.6%) and insecticides only at Chiro (20.8%) districts, respectively. From traditional management options, most of the discussants reported and used various particles like ash, urea, soils and botanical extracts such as tobacco, garlic, datura (banji), green pepper and also soap particles (66.6% and 18.5% from Darolebu and 29.7% and 4.7% Chiro districts, respectively. From all the study areas, 26.40% respondents reported that the mechanical methods were used by the removal of infested plants in the fields. But 14.35 % of respondents said did not use any traditional methods in the study areas. The FGD respondents suggested that it is better to have resistance and adaptable varieties that released for such agro-ecologies the same to our area. Also, they have emphasized that the government should be supplied fertilizers and different effective insecticides timely by affordable prices.