Assessment on Awareness of Root Knot Nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) Associated with Tomato Production in Mvomero District, Morogoro, Tanzania
Keywords:awareness, Meloidogyne spp., prevalence, severity, tomato
Root-knot nematodes (RKN) (Meloidogyne spp.) are among the serious biotic constraints to tomato growers in Tanzania but are relatively overlooked. This required a survey of growers in Mvomero District, Morogoro, Tanzania, to assess their RKN expertise. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data from 100 randomly selected respondents in Mlali (33), Doma (33), and Dakawa (34). Socioeconomic status, RKN awareness, tomato varietals, seed sources, and yield were collected. RKN awareness varied significantly among responder categories. 59% were unaware of RKN. Farming experience correlated with tomato yield, RKN awareness, and RKN-resistant tomato varieties. Rio Grande (14%), Cal J (18%), Roma (10%), and Tanya (16%) were popular tomato types, while hybrids included Imara F1 (19%), Assila F1 (15%), Jarrah F1 (2%), Zara F1 (3%), Kipato F1 (2%) and Anna F1 (2%). Seventy-five root and 75 rhizosphere soil samples were taken from tomato plants at the flowering stage demonstrating stunting, chlorosis, and wilting at least 1km apart in Mlali, Doma, and Dakawa Wards. Samples were shovelled 25 cm deep, packed in sterile plastic bags, labelled, and delivered to Tanzania Agriculural Research Institute Kibaha Nematology laboratory. Results revealed the significant prevalence and incidence of RKN. Despite the occurrence and damage caused by RKN in tomato in the study areas, only one percent of respondents recognized RKN as a serious problem. Awareness campaigns on RKN will facilitate farmers’ consciousness of their existence and management.
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