The biggest problem crop farmers in Nigeria face is pest invasion.

Nigeria is a place where vegetable farming and trade thrives based on how healthy the vegetables look. I.e, whether or not the vegetables are green and uneaten by both animal and insect pests. Insect pests are tiny, sometimes unseen insects that slowly but surely eat up vegetables.

Sellers with green, uneaten, and vibrant vegetable leaves are mostly patronized, as opposed to those whose vegetables sport yellowing leaves and stems, and holey leaves.
Evidence of an insect pest invasion on leafy vegetables may be holes in the leaf, shriveled stems, and warped leaves. It can be very devastating as a farmer to see your crops eaten before they are mature enough for sale.

Here is a short list of the most common insects that affect vegetables grown across Nigeria:

Foliage beetle:
They are the cause of the round holes chewed into leaves. In their numbers, they can cause skeletonization of leaves. Skeletonization occurs when insects chew only on the leaf tissue and leave the leaf veins intact. When severe infestation occurs, younger plants are thoroughly infected and left to die, while older plants experience stunted growth. They may be found in ugu (pumpkin) leaves.

Evidence of caterpillar activity could sometimes be webbing on or underneath the leaf. Sometimes, these webs can cause damage to the plants. Caterpillars feed on plant’s leaf tissues and cause holes to appear in the leaves.

These are herbivores with no particular preference, although they may prefer younger plants. They are highly adaptable and sometimes may feed on dead animal matter. They have powerful mouth parts that can chew leaf, stem and sometimes, seeds! Just like foliage beetles, their feeding also creates holes in leaves. They may be found in okra plants.

They have a tiny straw-like mouthpart. This helps them suck the nutrients from the leaves and stems, and leave yellow spots in the end. This is why some vegetables have yellow spots on their leaves. They are also disease transmitters and can cause a plant to become a target to other pests by virtue of an excretion called honeydew.

All of these insects can cause serious damage to vegetable crops when they attack in huge numbers. To tackle this problem, here are useful strategies to adopt:

Crop rotation to interrupt the pest life cycles, and regular removal of plant waste. This way, insects hardly have enough dirt to bury and hatch their eggs in.
Planting other crops that naturally repel insect pests. Examples of these include lemon grass and garlic.
Application of organic pesticides. They contain environmentally friendly oils and other natural ingredients that work well against soft bodied insects. They may disrupt their respiratory systems and cause them to die.
Watchfulness and early intervention. Be an attentive farmer, and take action immediately when you notice insect pests amongst your crops.

The best solutions to infestation are organic, all-natural pesticides. They are produced from plant based material, which makes them safer and less toxic for the plants and soil health. This way, consumers are not exposed to toxic chemical residue on the vegetables. We have a wide range if organic pesticides and fertilizers. Use the link below to check them and contact any of our counsellors.

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