Ohio State University
Makerere University (Uganda)
M. Erbaugh (US); P. Isubikalu (Uganda)
A case study investigation of 18 cowpea producers was initiated during the second season 1997 in 3 districts in Eastern Uganda. Production goal influenced cowpea acreage, varietal choice, seasonal planting, perception of problematic pests, and stage and frequency of pesticide application. Farmers preferred to use pesticides as the primary method of pest control because they insured a marketable crop, were associated with yield increases, permitted two season cropping, and reduced demand for labor at key times during the cropping season. They were used by all farmers except two subsistence producers who claimed their local variety did not require pesticides. The only limitations on pesticide use were local availability and cost. Local knowledge of alternative methods for controlling pests besides the use of pesticides included early planting, varietal choice, weeding, leaf picking and intercropping. Farmers were generally not aware or knowledgeable about cowpea diseases. Future research should seek to introduce resistant varieties; investigate efficacy, timing and rate of pesticide application; and, educate farmers regarding proper pesticide use and safety.