Harriet muyinza,merabel komurembe,alan lugoloobi  and ambrose agona
Post-Harvest Unit, National Agricultural Research Laboratories-Kawanda, NARO, PO Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda
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The bean weevil Acanthoscelides obtectus (SAY) is the main causative agent for losses incurred on stored beans in Africa.  A study to investigate the on-farm efficacy of botanical and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) synergists on bean damage by this pest and the consumer and market acceptability of treated grain was conducted on-farm in 20 farms in Akalo sub-county in the Apac district of Uganda.  Consumer acceptability studies were conducted with participating farmers and with grain buyers in one regional market in Uganda.  Where beans were treated with 100% DE, damage levels on the beans were reduced to 0,6% after 4 months of storage. Synergists of DE 50% + 50% dried Tobacco powder reduced damage to 2.5% and DE 75% + 25% dried Tobacco to < 2% damage compared to 10% damage in the untreated beans.  On-farm and on-station palatability studies found that all treated grains were acceptable to the consumers and there was no difference in the taste, appearance and colours of treated and untreated beans.  Samples of treated grain were all (100%) acceptable to grain buyers and there was no difference between the taste, flavour and cooking time of the treated and the untreated beans.  Acceptability of treated grain by produce buyers presents a new opportunity for farmers to use this environmentally safe, effective, affordable and user-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides for grain protection.  In this paper we present the highlights of this study and recommendations for use of these materials for pest management and enhanced farmer incomes.

 

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