Rice is a new crop in Uganda, but has quickly grown in importance. Between 2000 and 2010, total area under rice cultivation in the country grew by 94% from 140,000 ha. Changes in the agro ecosystem due to expansion in rice area may have altered the pest status of rice insect pests. However, far too little attention has been paid to assessing the prevalence and importance of rice insect-pests in Uganda. In this study, we interviewed 240 lowland-rice farming households from eight districts within the north, east and central regions of Uganda about their perceived insect-pest problems and control measures employed, if any. A semi-structured questionnaire was used. The farmers ranked rice insect pests as the most important biotic constraint in rice production, with stem borers and the African rice gall midge (AfRGM) perceived to be the 1st and 2nd most detrimental insect pests, respectively. In spite of this, only 36% of the respondents could positively identify symptoms of AfRGM damage on rice plants, while 64% were familiar with stem borer damage. Over 60% of interviewed farmers expressed confidence in the effectiveness of insecticides for controlling rice insect pests. Cultural control measures were not popular among the farmers.
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