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Agronomy 2014, 4(1), 1-12; doi:10.3390/agronomy4010001
Article

Eco-Friendly Nets and Floating Row Covers Reduce Pest Infestation and Improve Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Yields for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya

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Received: 19 November 2013; in revised form: 27 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 9 January 2014
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Abstract: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important vegetable for supplying vitamins, minerals and fiber in human diets worldwide. Successful open field production of tomato in the tropics is limited by insect pests among other constraints. Two trials were conducted at the Horticulture Research and Teaching Field, Egerton University, Kenya with the objective of evaluating the effects of agricultural nets (agronets) herein called eco-friendly nets (EFNs) and floating row covers (FRCs) on pest population and yield of tomatoes. A randomized complete block design with five replications was used. Tomato plants were protected with either fine mesh EFN (0.4-mm pore diameter), large mesh EFN (0.9-mm pore diameter) or FRC. The EFN and FRC were maintained permanently closed or opened thrice a week from 9 am to 3 pm. Two control treatments were used: open unsprayed (untreated control) or open and sprayed with alpha-cypermethrin based insecticide (treated control). The use of EFN and FRC helped to manage pests with the lowest pest population obtained under FRC maintained permanently covered and the highest population recorded in the untreated control. Covering tomato plants with EFN or FRC also resulted in more marketable fruit and lower yield losses compared with the unprotected systems. The EFN and FRC offer great potential as part of integrated systems for pest management and yield improvement in tomato production in regions with a tropical climate.
Keywords: pest exclusion; pest control; tomato yields; tomato quality; microclimate modification pest exclusion; pest control; tomato yields; tomato quality; microclimate modification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gogo, E.O.; Saidi, M.; Itulya, F.M.; Martin, T.; Ngouajio, M. Eco-Friendly Nets and Floating Row Covers Reduce Pest Infestation and Improve Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Yields for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya. Agronomy 2014, 4, 1-12.

AMA Style

Gogo EO, Saidi M, Itulya FM, Martin T, Ngouajio M. Eco-Friendly Nets and Floating Row Covers Reduce Pest Infestation and Improve Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Yields for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya. Agronomy. 2014; 4(1):1-12.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gogo, Elisha O.; Saidi, Mwanarusi; Itulya, Francis M.; Martin, Thibaud; Ngouajio, Mathieu. 2014. "Eco-Friendly Nets and Floating Row Covers Reduce Pest Infestation and Improve Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Yields for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya." Agronomy 4, no. 1: 1-12.

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