The Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab conducted three workshops in Tanzania during the week of July 20, 2015. The first workshop, featuring a regional focus on production and use of Trichoderma spp., was held at the AVRDC Regional Center in Arusha, on July 20-23. The 23 participants consisted mostly of plant pathologists. In attendance, were six Ethiopian participants, nominated by EIAR, seven Kenyan participants, nominated by KALRO, and 10 Tanzanian participants, nominated by TPRI and SUA. Two professors from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India led the workshop—an educational event that was truly a collaboration of the south.
Trichoderma is an antagonistic fungus that prevents pathogenic fungi from attacking seedlings and also induces plants’ instinctual defense mechanisms against pests and diseases. In the previous phase, the IPM Innovation Lab (IPM IL) popularized the use of Trichoderma in vegetable production in Asia, and in the current phase, the IPM IL is introducing this technology to Eastern Africa. So far, the IPM IL has conducted four international workshops on Trichoderma and trained more than 75 scientists from a dozen different developing countries in the tropics. Trichoderma allows vegetable farmers to greatly reduce or eliminate pesticide applications to control soil-borne diseases.
The second workshop, highlighting management strategies for an invasive pest, the South American tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, was held at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute in Arusha, on July 21. The 103 participants from northern Tanzania, included scientists, extension agents, representatives from private companies and value chain projects, and farmers. The Director General of TPRI, Mrs. Epi Kimaro inaugurated the workshop. TPRI Entomologist, Mr. Maneno Chidege and Director of IPM IL, Dr. R. Muniappan, led PowerPoint presentations, followed by a question and answer session. In the afternoon, the team observed the Tuta absoluta damage firsthand during visits to tomato farms.
The third workshop, featuring Tuta absoluta once again, was held at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, on July 23. The 40 participants from southern Tanzania, included research and extension faculty, students, representatives of private companies, and farmers supported by TAHA. SUA Entomologist, Dr. Mwatawala and Director of IPM IL, Dr. R. Muniappan presented PowerPoint slides, followed by a question and answer session. After the presentation, participants viewed damage wrought by the tomato leaf miner as well as local natural enemies during a series of tomato farm visits.
Tomato fruit affected by Tuta absoluta.
Participants in the tomato field observing Tuta damage