Ecology and Distribution of Stem Borers in Nigeria
MOyewale, R. O., Salaudeen, M. T., Bamaiyi, L.J., Bello, L.Y.
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There is a renewed interest in Nigeria to go back to Agriculture and see it as a profession. Maize is a major staple food for millions of people in the country. It is one of the most important cereal crops cultivated for food, feed and as industrial raw materials. In spite of the cultivation and uses of maize, production is seriously constrained by stem borers. Stem borers have been the most damaging group of insect pests in maize cultivation worldwide. Feeding by borer larvae on maize plants usually results in crop losses as a consequence of death of the growing point (dead heart), early leaf senescence, reduced translocation, lodging and direct damage to the ears. Yield loss due to stem borers in Africa vary from 0 – 100 % among ecological zones, regions and seasons. In sub Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, they can cause 20 – 40 % losses during cultivation and 30 – 90% losses postharvest and during storage. However, estimated yield losses may be higher than of 40 % are expected to occur at the smallholder level where suppression of the pest by chemicals is generally not practiced.