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Open AccessArticle

Perceptions of Climate Change and Drivers of Insect Pest Outbreaks in Vegetable Crops in Limpopo Province of South Africa

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Department of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag x01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
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Discipline of Geography, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020027
Received: 24 December 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 28 January 2020 / Published: 6 February 2020
Vegetable production is a source of income for smallholder farmers in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Vegetable production is constrained by the negative impacts of climate change and pests. This study assessed farmers’ awareness of climate change, farmers’ knowledge of insect pests and factors that influence insect pests’ prevalence. The data were collected using quantitative and qualitative methods. The data were subjected to descriptive and bivariate analysis. About 84.5% of smallholder farmers were aware of climate change. Late rainfall (24.4%), long dry spells (15%) and increased drought frequency (19.4%) were highlighted as dominant indicators of climate change by farmers. Aphids (22.2%), Bagrada hilaris (12.5%) and Spodoptera frugiperda (10.2%) were the most prevalent insect pests within the Vhembe District. Warmer winters, dry spells and high temperatures were perceived by farmers to influence insect pests’ prevalence within the district. It can be concluded that farmers are aware of climate change and climatic factors influencing pest prevalence within the district. Pest risk maps are needed to improve the preparedness of the government and farmers in controlling insect pests under changing climates.
Keywords: increased temperatures; pest incidence; problematic insect pests; warmer winters increased temperatures; pest incidence; problematic insect pests; warmer winters
MDPI and ACS Style

Phophi, M.M.; Mafongoya, P.; Lottering, S. Perceptions of Climate Change and Drivers of Insect Pest Outbreaks in Vegetable Crops in Limpopo Province of South Africa. Climate 2020, 8, 27.

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