Mangoes are an important source of nutritious food and employment in sub-Saharan Africa. However, pest infestation, especially fruit flies (native and invasive), hamper mango productivity in the region. Fruit fly infestations reduce the quality and quantity of fruits produced for both local and foreign markets. Using synthetic insecticides for pest management is unsustainable (due to their price and their risks to human health and the environment) and subject to increasing resistance. To address these challenges, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and partners have developed and validated a fruit fly integrated pest management (IPM) package that has been tested in several locations in East and West Africa.
This project will adapt and promote the wide-scale adoption of these IPM interventions in four southern African countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. A series of these interventions will be tested to increase their fit to specific locations. In particular, the use of parasitoids will be refined through field releases, post-release evaluation, and assessment of the impact of their release in the field for the suppression of invasive fruit flies.
The project will also assess the socioeconomic impacts of the IPM option, with a specific focus on women and youth, and enhance the capacity of partners to use the technologies. Reaching up to 4,000 mango growers, including resource-poor women and men farmers, the project will improve food and nutrition security, provide income generation opportunities, and reduce poverty.
This project is funded through the second phase of the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAF-2), a joint program of IDRC and the Australian International Food Security Research Centre of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. CultiAF supports research to achieve long-term food security in eastern and southern Africa.