An assessment of pests and disease management on cocoa production in Busaru sub-county, Bundbugyo district
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Pests and disease management are one of the major problems farmers in Busaru face due to the impacts of pests and disease infestation which has led to a drop in Busaru’s cocoa production. This study assessed pests and disease management in the Busaru sub-county since their infestation accounts for the poor cocoa yields attained by majority of these farmers. Specifically, the study identified (1)the types of pests and diseases affecting cocoa production in Busaru sub-county,(2) Impacts of these pests and disease attacks on cocoa production and (3)farmers management practices and the problems that hinder them in ensuring quality cocoa bean production in the sub county. A multi-staged sampling technique was used on 60 farmers to carry out this research were semi structured questionnaires were distributed to cocoa farmers. Data was descriptively analyzed using special software called SPSS to establish levels of significance upon management of pests and diseases on cocoa production among farmers in the sub county. Results clearly indicated that pests like Ring bark borers heavily affected cocoa followed by Mirids, cocoa pod borer, cocoa beetle, flower eating caterpillars then broad mite pest. Diseases such as black pod heavily affected the crop followed by vascular streak dieback, frosty pod rot, cocoa swollen shoot virus and switches broom disease affected cocoa least. Effects were realized on the health of the farmer then quantity and quality of the beans were farmers obtain few beans during harvest yet of poor quality hence low market price are attained. Other effects were observed during trade. Farmers apply chemicals then adhere to bush clearing and wood ash applications to minimize pest and disease infestations on cocoa. Findings reveal that proper pest and disease control measures with enhanced cocoa management practices, yield is expected to increase in the nearby future in this study area. Government should avail incentives of bonuses like pesticides to reduce on impacts of pest and disease infestation, extension service enhancement in various farmer groups for awareness about these pests and diseases then cultural cocoa management practices should be addressed to cocoa farmers for higher yields and marketable cocoa beans.