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Shankarkumar, Advaith Chakravarthy, 2021. Assessment of the impact of the Black Coffee Twig Borer, Xylosandrus compactus infestation in Ugandan small-scale coffee gardens, and the potential of its suppression through repellence in conjunction with push-pull technology. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)



Coffee production in Uganda is an important means of income for smallholder farmers and
extensively supports rural livelihoods. It contributes to about 20- 30% of the annual export revenue
of the country. Yet, coffee production is challenged by many factors. Of these, the black coffee twig
borer (BCTB), Xylosandrus compactus, is arguably the most important. In this study we conducted
semi-structured interviews and online questionnaires of stakeholders: farmers and officials, to assess
the perceptions and knowledge levels about BCTB in relation to other coffee-related threats. We also
assessed the level of information flow prevailing amongst the stakeholder groups. We did these
surveys in the Namasagali sub-county of the Kamuli district. The results show awareness among both
groups of this pest and its devastating impacts on coffee production. However, the levels of
understanding varied. All the farmers implemented the recommended control measures. They
expressed the need for improvements and additional technology since BCTB infestations have been
increasing over the years. Control using insecticides were frequently proposed as a way of handling
BTCB infestations, even though insecticides are relatively ineffective and would have disastrous
impacts on the biodiversity-rich coffee production in agroforestry settings. Therefore,
environmentally and economically sustainable alternatives are necessary to avoid the serious
transition of the farmers from presently organic methods to adopting unsustainable technologies.
We complemented our interview surveys with field trials to test a novel agroecological approach for
the management of BCTB based on the “push-pull” principle of cropping systems. This system uses
attractants and repellents to divert pests away from the crop. We tested the possibility of using
verbenone, an anti-aggregation signal of other bark beetles, for use in integrated BCTB control. We
used a wax-based emulsion, SPLAT, for the slow-release of verbenone in the field. We found that a
single 2 g dollop of SplatVerb per tree reduced BCTB infestations by 60% in small coffee stands. Our
results indicate the potential of managing BCTB infestations using push-pull, showing that SplatVerb
can function as the ‘push’ component. Future studies should increase the scale of the intervention
trials, and test locally available repellents such as aromatic plant extracts. Additionally, test the
push-pull concept through combining the repellent with e.g. traps containing attractants.
Furthermore, research on mutual expectations and identifying obstacles and possibilities to suggest
possible improvements in the stakeholder communication chain to support the dissemination of
sustainable innovations to combat BCTB and other threats to coffee production under agroforestry

Main title:Assessment of the impact of the Black Coffee Twig Borer, Xylosandrus compactus infestation in Ugandan small-scale coffee gardens, and the potential of its suppression through repellence in conjunction with push-pull technology
Authors:Shankarkumar, Advaith Chakravarthy
Supervisor:Dekker, Teun and Kabi, Fred
Examiner:Chongtham Iman, Raj
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Keywords:coffee, smallholder farmers, livelihoods, BCTB, SplatVerb, repellents, attractants, push-pull, sustainable alternatives, perceptions, stakeholders
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Crop husbandry
Pests of plants
Deposited On:12 Jan 2022 07:22
Metadata Last Modified:13 Jan 2022 02:01

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