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Onfarm demonstration, testing and dissemination of boiling water treatment for plantain (Musa spp.) sucker sanitation in Southern Cameroon
Ngo Kanga, F.
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Plantain (Musa spp.) is an important staple food and cash crop in West andCentral Africa. It is highly susceptible to a complex of root and corm pests anddiseases and yields are low. Farmers practice virtually no pest or disease control. Asimple inexpensive method to clean suckers of most pests and diseases is submergingsuckers in boiling water for 30 s. However, with no extension system in place andfarmers dispersed in forested territory with poor road infrastructure, disseminatingthe technology poses a difficulty. Unlike distributing new germplasm, newtechnologies need to be taught to farmers, their positive effects need to bedemonstrated and farmers may have to accept behavioral changes in order to adopt.In the current case, there is the additional need to convince farmers of the need for aradical treatment to be administered to a commodity in short supply. The approachwas a combination of workshop and hands-on demonstration plot establishments.Once farmers agreed to participate, technicians visited the village, gave lessons onplantain sucker health, the presence, symptoms and consequences of nematode(Radopholus similis) infestation, the concept of transmission of pests and diseasesand the principle of heat treatment. Farmers prepared suckers for treatment.Treated and untreated suckers were planted in adjacent plots. After the initialworkshop phase, adoption ranged from 32–47% (mean 39%). Follow up revealedthat many demonstration plots had been expanded, or abandoned in favor of largerfields planted to ‘boiling water treated’ suckers. Negative consequences ofintroducing the ‘boiling water treatment’ included social conflict between workshopparticipants and non-participants and farmers using the technique versus thosecontinuing to plant traditionally prepared suckers. The major reason forabandoning demonstration plots or advanced trials was a shortage of labor.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/2632
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