Insect infestation of stored grains and management of the pest problems by grain traders in Kampala, Uganda.
Okaso, Daniel Olila
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Grains (cereals and legumes) are important crops in the tropics and sub-tropics for enhanced food security. Despite its importance, the value chain is usually affected by poor storage conditions and insect pests. Insect pests reduce the quality and quantity of grain produce in stores. Information on insect pest infestation of stored grain and management approaches in Uganda is scanty. The major objective of this study was to study insect infestation of stored grain and management approaches used by traders in Kampala district. Data was collected from 53 respondents (38 males and 15 females) using semi-structured questionnaires. The key questions were the major pests affecting the traders and the management actions implemented to solve the pest problem. Data analysis was done using statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) program. Maize (57%), beans (32%) and rice (11%) were the major grains traded. The major insects attacking the grains in stores were coleopterans (weevils), for example maize weevil (71.0%), bean weevil (82.4%) and rice weevil (66.7%). Traders generally had little knowledge on pests attacking grains in the stores. Insect infestation of grains in stores were mainly as a result of poor storage and high moisture; and insects were estimated to cause loses between 10% - 30%. Management of insect infestation was majorly through admixing with chemicals (64.2%).