Farmers' Perceptions about White Woolly Aphid in Sugarcane and its Management Practices

T. Rajula Shanthy, R. Thiagarajan and N. Mukunthan


Sugarcane woolly aphid (SWA) is a serious pest of sugarcane in several parts of the Oriental region. The species is known from several countries of Asia with variable pest status. Although not new to the crop or crop regions of the world, the pest has been reported in severe forms in India only after 2004. Compiled information is meager on the effects of this pest on sugarcane yield and quality or the economic consequences for rural producers. Hence, a study was conducted to investigate the cane growers’ understanding and perception of white woolly aphid in sugarcane. Data on farmers’ perceptions were collected in two divisions of a sugar factory using participatory approach and household surveys with a total of 90 households. Five point, Likert-type response scale was used to measure farmers’ perception. Almost all the farmers have realized that SWA is an invading pest and the incidence starts in the border of the fields and gradually spreads inwards by proliferating quickly. Nearly 88% of the respondent farmers felt that the pest causes up to 75%economic loss. Being a new pest, no concrete management measures were available then. Nevertheless, the farmers had used acephate and phorate that are being recommended for other sucking pests. The study concludes that while this situation presents new challenges to agricultural scientists, it as well offers opportunities to find innovative ways to combat the emerging pests using new frontier technologies

Keyword: Perception; Farmers' knowledge; Participatory approach; White woolly aphid; Management practices;

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