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Experts address your farming concerns

By George Mbakanya | August 15th 2015

READER: My tomatoes greenhouse was infested by small butterflies. I thought there was never going to be any harm, but after two weeks my ripe fruits started falling down. On my assessment I realised there were very tiny worms, I quickly sprayed with duduthrine but this was never to be because I lost all the tomatoes. What might have been the cause of the butterflies and the remedy to it?


EXPERT: Thank you Daniel for writing to Smart Harvest. Those tiny white butterflies were probably the dreaded White Fly which don’t necessarily eat the leaves of the tomato plants but instead suck the sap out of them eventually killing the plant. These small sucking insects have developed resistance to many synthetic pesticides making chemical control difficult.

To manage the flies, an integrated pest management programme such as good cultural practices conserving natural enemies, routinely monitoring fields for trouble spots, and using pesticides only when necessary is advised.

Spray infested tomato plants with insecticidal soap, concentrating the spray on the underside of the leaves where white flies congregate and breed. Repeat the application every three days until no more white flies are present. Spray in the evening to minimise contact with beneficial insects.

Insecticidal soap only works while wet, so rinse the plants with clear water the day after application to remove any residue. Set out yellow white fly sticky traps around the base of plants to control the adult population and minimize breeding.

Replace the traps when they lose their stickiness or if they become covered in flies. We will be giving a comprehensive management of white flies in our subsequent prints. Keep reading the smart harvest!

{George Mbakahya, Consultant/Advisor in sustainable agricultural innovations}

READER: I was impressed by the article on page 26 of the Smart Harvest magazine in the Standard newspaper. As an avid farmer, I would love to invest in the solar vegetable drier.

Please let me know who I can contact to make further inquiries about the price, availability of the drier in my locality, Nakuru and the possibilities of drying various other types of farm produce. Your assistance will be highly appreciated.

{Sally Andwati}

EDITOR: Thanks Sally for keeping it Smart Hravest and for your compliments. You can reach Yunuke Nyakerario, Mapema Star Women Group Chairperson on 0701504078 for clarification on solar vegetable drier. Keep reading smart harvest.

READER: I read with interest about an incredible soya entrepreneur in Vihiga (SmartHarvest, August 8, 2015). I wish to get the contacts of Job Osiako and his Annapolis Wonder Enterprise (AWE) or his wife Josephine Ongoma. At KENDAT we promote innovative technology transfer for smallholders and believe we can mutually benefit from engaging with Mr Osiako. Kind regards.

{Dr Pascal Kaumbutho}

EDITOR: Pascal thanks for keeping it Smart Harvest. You can reach Mr Osiako, the Vihiga soya farmer on 0722704784. Keep it Smart Harvest for smart tips.

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