Diversity of cultural methods used by farmers to control tomato pests and diseases, case study of Budondo sub-county in Jinja District.
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Production of tomatoes in Budondo sub-county is heavily affected by pests and diseases that makes it lose value and from which many farmers depend on use of synthetic pesticides as best strategy for pest control. This study was carried out in order to identify the tomato varieties grown by farmers from Budondo sub-county, pests and diseases that affect tomato production, cultural methods used by farmers to control tomato pests and diseases and assessment of damage caused by pests on tomatoes. Data was collected using questionnaires from 32 randomly selected respondents equally distributed in the sub-county. Samples of pests affecting tomatoes were collected from gardens either by forceps or hand picking for later identification. Tomato gardens were visited to assess the level of pest damage based on a damage rating scale. Some diseases were identified by relating with similar photographs on diseased plants in journal “Field guide to non – chemical pest management in tomato production”. The data collected was recorded, entered into computer excel spread sheet and later presented in tables and graphs. It was concluded from this study that tomato is the main cash crop grown in the sub-county and very many tomato varieties are planted. Amongst all varieties, cal J was the most common tomato variety grown while hybrid 614 was the least grown tomato variety. The common identified pests and diseases were tomato horn worms, Manduca quinquemaculata with percentage frequency 70% and late blight, Phytophora infestan 73% respectively. It was also identified that tomato pests white flies, Bemisia tabaci and cut worms, Agrotis spp had highest severity that all others. There was a high diversity of cultural methods used by farmers to control tomato pests and diseases. Of all methods used, mulching with 86% was the most predominantly method used while intercropping with 13% was the least used. It was recommended that; Further studies be conducted to find out the efficacy of different cultural methods on controlling a specific tomato pest or disease in Budondo sub-county. More research be carried out to compare the severity of damage caused by a particular pest or disease on different tomato varieties when no cultural control is applied. Further studies be carried out to compare the efficacy of cultural control methods with chemical control strategies in the prevention of particular tomato pest or disease. Much sensitization be carried out on farmers