Start:1 January 2019                               End: 31 December 2023

project summary

Horticultural crops can provide sustainable income and food security for African farmers. However, their production is hampered by the presence of several pests, among which tephritid fruit flies are a major concern. Pest control is currently done by indiscriminate, expensive and often inefficient use of pesticides, having a negative impact on the farmers’ health and on their environment. This project proposes the development of an environmental friendly methodology, along agroecological principles, to mitigate the impact of fruit flies (FF) on vegetables that are biologically fruits such as cucurbits and solanaceous crops. This agroecological approach aims at strongly reducing the impact of control methods on the ecosystem while having a positive effect on beneficial organisms such as pollinators. Through the project the local partners will strengthen their research units and further enhance their expertise with regard to fruit fly pests and their control. 

Aims of the AGROVEG project

1) Strengthening scientific research capacity: Research on biological data of FF pests and agroecological control methodologies in vegetable crops, with emphasis on cucurbits and solanaceous crops, will be conducted in order to increase production and mitigate loss in an ecological sound manner. Four MSc and one PhD researchers will be trained in aspects related to agroecology. Local research teams will be further strengthened and obtain additional expertise on FF related matters.

 Strengthening physical and virtual diffusion of scientific research results to the larger scientific community: Research results will be published in international peer reviewed journals and presented at dedicated international conferences. Existing websites on FF pests and pollinators are enhanced. Group training on pollinators will be provided.

3) Awareness raising towards the general public: Farmers will be trained on agroecological practices in vegetable plots. Educational tools on agroecological practices in vegetable plots will be developed.

 

4) Support to good governance, based on the scientific results: Policy brief on agroecology in horticultural production will be composed, and information disseminated to relevant governmental parties and other stakeholders.

 

5) Development of synergies and complementary activities among partners through multi-partner governance and coordination: Meetings with other partners involved in horticultural research in Africa will be organized.

highlights of the agroveg project

Training courses:

Second training course on polliatning Diptera (Tanzania - 2019)

Field surveys:

A first survey in Tanzania, exploring western Tanzania to trace the spread of invasive fruit flies was organized. The spread of the invasive Solanum (Bactrocera latifrons) and melon (Zeugodacus cucurbitae) fruit flies could be detected westward till Kigoma, Lake Tanganyika. The presence of the widespread Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) was confirmed.

Exchange of knowledge and networking:

The Belgian and Mozambiquan partners visited CIRAD (La Réunion) (10-15 december 2019) to exchange knowledge on agroecological protocols.

Field survey by combined team of SUA and RMCA researchers for distribution of invasive fruit flies in Tanzania, trapping deployment in Tabora. © M. Virgilio RMCA

Field survey by combined team of SUA and RMCA researchers for distribution of invasive fruit flies in Tanzania, trapping deployment in Tabora. © M. Virgilio RMCA

Field survey by combined team of SUA and RMCA researchers for distribution of invasive fruit flies in Tanzania, trapping deployment in Tabora. © M. Virgilio RMCA

partners

 

Marc De Meyer (Royal Museum for Central Africa - RMCA, Belgium) - project coordinator and contact person

Massimiliano Virgilio (Royal Museum for Central Africa - RMCA, Belgium)

Kurt Jordaens (Royal Museum for Central Africa - RMCA, Belgium)

Maulid Mwatawala (Sokoine University of Agriculture - SUA, Tanzania)

Domingos Cugala (Eduardo Mondlane University - EMU, Mozambique)

see more on the Partners Page

sponsors

DGD Belgium.png
africamuseum logo.jpg
Afrotropical diptera
pollinator information network

Kurt Jordaens

kurt.jordaens [at] africamuseum.be

Royal Museum for Central Africa

Dept. of Biology - Entomology

Leuvensesteenweg 13

B-3080 Tervuren

Belgium

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