Rice is a relatively new crop in Uganda, but has quickly grown in importance. The importance of rice in Uganda is highlighted in the national rice development strategy (NRDS), which seeks to make the country self-sufficient in rice by doubling production from 177,800 Mt in 2008 to 680,000 Mt by 2018 [1
]. Projections in the NRDS indicate that doubling rice production will respond to the increasing demand of Ugandans for rice. Per capita annual consumption of rice in Uganda went up from 3 kg in 1990 to 8 kg in 2010, representing a 62.5% rise. Correspondingly, total area under rice cultivation in Uganda increased by over 70% from 39,000 ha in 1990 to 140,000 ha in 2010 [2
]. The rapid increase in the area under rice cultivation is largely attributed to the introduction of upland NERICA (New Rice for Africa), which found a niche especially among farmers who until recently thought of rice as a crop adapted only to irrigated/rainfed lowland ecosystems such as Kibimba, Doho, Olweny, and Agoro irrigation schemes. Today, many small-scale farmers can be found growing rice across the country alongside a few large scale rice growers. This out-scaling of rice cultivation into areas that were initially thought of as “non-rice producing regions” makes it increasingly difficult to ignore emerging biotic constraints or yield-reducing factors like pests, diseases and weeds, which may jeopardize future productivity. Insect pests constitute one of the major yield reducing factors in rice [3
]. Crop losses due to insect pests on rice in the developing countries of Africa have been estimated at about 20% [4
]. In 2008, about half of the rice farmers in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) experienced insect pest attacks, affecting 27% of the rice area and causing an estimated 20% yield loss [4
]. However, rice insect pests can cause even much higher yield losses. For instance, yield losses of up to 45% were reported in Kenya [4
]. Recent developments in the rice industry in Uganda have heightened the need to understand key insect-pest threats on rice and the yield losses that they cause, in addition to exploring available management options. This is against the background that the increasing area under rice production in Uganda may have altered insect pest complexes and changed the pest status of some insects. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess farmers’ knowledge and perceptions about rice insect pests, and how they manage rice insect pests. Understanding farmers’ perceptions is important in guiding the development of sustainable and cost effective integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. Sound pest management practices can stabilize and secure rice production, to the benefit of the poor rice-farming households [5
]. Moreover, farmer pest management strategies identified in this study (if any) may accelerate technology development and promotion, since farmer pest management practices represent the direct result of decisions they make every season to enable them to remain in production.