A survey of 174 tomato farmers in five districts of Karnataka State, South India, was conducted between March and July 1998 with the objectives of assessing farmers' knowledge and perceptions of tomato leaf curl virus disease (ToLCVD) and examining their current control practices. The findings showed that farmers were familiar with ToLCVD and regarded it as a serious constraint upon production, particularly in the hot season. However, only 2% of farmers were aware that tomato leaf curl virus (ToLCV) was transmitted by a whitefly vector, Bemisia tabaci . A similarly small number of farmers knew that ToLCVD was caused by a virus, whilst 86% of farmers believed that it was caused by high temperatures. Approximately 90% of farmers relied primarily on pesticides for control of ToLCVD. Few ToLCV-resistant varieties were available but one such variety, Avinash II, was grown by 13% of farmers in the hot season when incidence of the disease is highest. Farmers visiting experimental trials at a farmer field day, showed a strong interest in new advanced breeding tomato lines with resistance to ToLCV. Factors affecting the adoption of ToLCV-resistant varieties by tomato farmers are discussed.
International Journal of Pest Management (2002) 48 (4): 333-338 [DOI: 10.1080/09670870210153164]