Citrus is a major source of income in Kenya for both large and small scale farmers. However, citrus productivity has been declining over the years mainly due to pests and diseases, particularly the African Citrus Trioza (ACT), Huanglongbing (HLB) and False Codling Moth (FCM). Management of pests and diseases is sorely dependent on synthetic pesticides, which not only increases production costs but also are associated with high health and environmental risks. Use of integrated pest management (IPM) is recommended as a more sustainable alternative to widespread broad-spectrum chemical pesticide application. The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and partners proposed an integrated pest management package to address the unrelenting challenge of pests and diseases affecting citrus growers in Africa. Although integrated pest management could be an operational way of shielding the citrus fruits from pests and diseases, there was limited information on knowledge and practices on current management of African citrus trioza, the greening disease and false codling moth among citrus growers, and on farmer’s willingness to pay for a more sustainable alternative such as integrated pest management. This study aimed at filling this gap. Multistage sampling method was used to select the counties, sub-counties and citrus growers respectively. Two counties namely Machakos and Makueni where citrus production is predominant were purposively selected and 600 citrus growers chosen randomly for the interviews using structured questionnaires. Descriptive analysis and a contingent valuation method were utilized to document the grower’s knowledge and practices on false codling moth, African citrus trioza and greening disease and willingness to pay respectively, while a logistic regression model was employed to investigate the factors affecting the willingness to pay for the integrated pest management strategy. These factors were used to determine the probability that farmers would be willing to pay a predetermined price of KSH 5180 for ACT and HLB and KSH 5560 for FCM per acre for the package. Results from the study indicate that factors such as, proportion of income from citrus, knowledge of managing the pests and diseases, area under citrus fruits, distance to the nearest extension officer, had a positive influence on the intensity of willingness to pay for the integrated pest management package. Farmers were willing to pay 45% (KES 7766) increase above the pre-determined price for the false codling moth and over 60% (KES 10638) for African citrus trioza and greening disease control. The mean willingness to pay implies that farmers seem enthusiastic to try the package on their farms as a substitute to conventionalpesticide use because integrated pest management helps to reverse the problem farmers encounter due to excessive use of chemicals. However, a more systematic ex-post impact assessment study should be done after the release and implementation of the strategy to assess the performance of the intervention. Adoption of IPM by the farmers will improve their welfare and living standards since citrus production will increase which eventually increase their income. It will also contribute to the economy of the country by increasing the national revenue.

Background of the study 
Agriculture is a major contributor of the Kenya’s economy. Horticulture accounts for 21% of all agricultural exports and employs 40% of agricultural labor force (GOK, 2014). In general, horticulture contributes greatly to Kenya’s foreign exchange, and it is a source of income and food security. For instance, in 2008, the horticultural industry earned a foreign exchange of US$ 1 billion and over US$650 million locally. In the same period, it created employment for over 4 million people directly and indirectly (HCD, 2009). Kenya is considered as one of the major producers and exporters of horticultural products in the world with production estimated to be close to 3 million tons per year (HCD, 2009). 

Despite most farmers being small-scale, citrus production is the fourth highest after banana and mangoes among fruit exports from Kenya The sub-sector contributes a significant share of income and employment rural dwellers and, nutrition for human and food security. Citrus is a good source of vitamin “C” and is a great antioxidant (Da Graca 2008). Several species of citrus are widely grown in Kenya but the farmers mainly produce pummelons, limes, sweet oranges, tangerines and grapes and the common acid members. For over a decade, production of citrus fruits has been decreasing, ranging between 4-10 tons per hectare, which is below the expected potential of 7.9 to 8.5tonnes per hectare (Kilalo et al., 2009). One of the major challenges attributed to the decline is pests and disease infestation, which farmers have not been able to address with the available management and control measures such as synthetic pesticides. 

Several diseases and pests attack citrus fruits including huanglongbing (HLB), also known as the greening disease. The greening disease is caused by a vector transmitted pathogen that causes yellow shooting of the plant unlike the usual green color (Da Graca 2008). The infected leaves drop as well as the fruits before maturity. The few fruits that remain become sour and fail to ripen. In other cases the plant cannot bear the fruits and dies. Major citrus pests include the African Citrus Trioza (ACT) and False Codling Moth (FCM). ACT transmits deadly bacteria known as Candidatus Liberibacte Africanus (CLAF), responsible for greening of citrus while false codling moth destroys fruits by boring into them, causing them to drop prematurely. 

In Africa, most of the farmers depend solely on the use of synthetic pesticides to minimize damage and output losses due to these pests and diseases. Increasing difficulties in control of false codling moth, African citrus trioza and greening disease pests and diseases can arise as they quickly develop resistance to pesticides. In absence of alternative pest management strategies, farmers tend to overuse chemicals by spraying frequently and mixing various pesticide brands to make them more effective (Muriithi et al., 2016). Since chemical control measures are associated with negative effects on human and environmental health, alternative measures such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are gaining attention (Norton et al., 2002).Integrated pest management is a pest management strategy that involves use of pest control approaches that ensure favorable economic, ecological and sociological consequences (Blake et al., 2007).The package is made up of a combination of biological, chemical and cultural methods. Such strategies have been used to control citrus pests in some regions in the world for instance in South Africa, which hosts a wide range of these pests than anywhere else in the world (Hattingh, 2003). 

Although most of the citrus growers in this country have been exposed to the integrated pest management strategy, adoption is low with only a small proportion of the farmers taking up the technology. The low adoption is mainly attributed to divergences in knowledge concerning an integrated pest management technology as well as resource availability (Norton et al., 2009). The perception of an integrated pest management varies greatly among the farmers and some diverge from international trends. Some farmers perceive IPM strategies to work only on large scale productions and thus get discouraged to pay for them. Others believe so much on the use of chemicals on their land and it has become difficult to convince them to change from their tradition (Fernandez-Cornejo et al., 2004) 

Integrated pest management strategy have however been identified as an effective approach in reducing insect damage in various horticultural enterprises. For instance, an economic evaluation of an integrated pest management strategy comprising of a biological, cultural and minimal chemical control techniques for suppression of mango fruit flies, showed that use of an integrated pest management reduced mango losses due to fruit fly infestation by about 54 percent (Kibira et al., 2015). An ex-ante study for the same strategy showed that 66 percent of the farmers were willing to pay 50 percent more for the integrated pest management fruit fly control package than the actual cost as it is more efficient and effective compared to synthetic pesticides (Muchiri, 2012). In addition to minimizing output losses due to diseases and pests, use of integrated pest management has been found to impact positively on farmers’ income through improved quality output that sells widely in the market and attracts better prices. Similarly, application of integrated pest management reduces pesticide expenditure and thus improving farm enterprise profitability. International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in collaboration with other development partners planned to develop and disseminate an IPM strategy to suppress pests and diseases affecting citrus fruits in Kenya and Tanzania.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 66 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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