Item Details

Title: Selected Insect Pests of Economic Importance to Brassica oleracea, Their Control Strategies and the Potential Threat to Environmental Pollution in Africa

Date Published: 2020
Author/s: Nelson Mpumi, Revocatus S. Machunda, Kelvin M. Mtei and Patrick A. Ndakidemi
Data publication:
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Affiliation: School of Materials, Energy, Water and Environmental Sciences, The Nelson Mandela African Institution of
Science and Technology, P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania; (R.S.M.); (K.M.M.)
2 School of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and
Technology, P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania;
Keywords: phytochemicals; Plutella xylostella; Helula undalis; biological control and cultural practices


The most common destructive insect pests affecting cabbages in African smallholder
farmers include Plutella xylostella, Helula undalis, Pieris brassicae, Brevycoryne brassicae, Trichoplusia ni
and Myzus persicae. Those insect pests infest cabbages at different stages of growth, causing huge
damage and resulting into huge yield losses. The African smallholder farmers use cultural and
synthetic pesticides to control insect pests and minimize infestations. The cultural practices like crop
rotation, weeding and handpicking are used to minimize the invasion of cabbage pests. However,
those practices are not sufficiently enough to control cabbage insect pests although they are cheap
and safe to the environment. Also, the African smallholder famers rely intensively on the application
of broad-spectrum of synthetic pesticides to effectively control the cabbage pests in the field. Due to
severe infestation of cabbages caused by those insects, most of African smallholder farmers decide
to; first, increase the concentrations of synthetic pesticides beyond the recommended amount by
manufacturers. Secondly, increase the rate of application of the synthetic pesticides throughout the
growing season to effectively kill the most stubborn insect pests infesting cabbages (Brassica oleracea
var. capitata). Thirdly, they mix more than two synthetic pesticides for the purpose of increasing
the spectrum of killing the most stubborn insect pests in the field. All those scenarios intensify
the environmental pollution especially soil and water pollution. Moreover, most of insecticides
sprayed are made with broad-spectrum and are hazardous chemicals posing environmental pollution
and threats to natural enemies’ ecosystems. Therefore, this paper reviews Brassica oleracea var.
capitata insect pests and control measures as a potential environmental pollution threat in African
smallholder farmers.