This project was directly concerned with the development and evaluation of an operator-safe fungicide and application technique against a disease of major importance in a crop (cocoa) grown extensively in the high potential systems of West Africa. The programme was particularly concerned with understanding the current issues surrounding chemical use by smallhold farmers in Ghana and with ensuring that application systems are optimized to the benefit of both farmers and consumers.
The project outputs provided significant progress towards the project goal of improving yields and sustainability of high potential cropping systems by cost-effective reduction in losses due to pests. Project survey work demonstrated a real need and desire among farmers for more appropriate and usable alternatives to existing spray recommendations. Exploration of the use of potassium phosphonate has shown that it represents a viable alternative in efficacy terms and opens up alternative application system options for small farmers. Studies on environmental contamination have shown that current practices lead to extensive off-target contamination and waste, a finding that has significant implications for a large-scale government black pod control programme presently operating in Ghana. These issues require further exploration through participatory research with farmers to determine what is truly appropriate and effective for their use.
DFID Crop Protection Programme, Final Technical Report, Project R7326. CABI Bioscience, Ascot, Berks, UK. 137 pp.