The yield potential of cowpea and soybean is severely constrained by several biotic stresses, negatively impacting on the livelihoods of farming communities. Resistant germplasm is often the first line of defence against plant pathogens inducing foliar diseases like Asian soybean rust, but needs to be accompanied by proper resistance management plans, including understanding and monitoring of pathotype formation. This chapter shows how combatting soil-borne pathogens, nematodes and particularly insect pests requires a truly integrated approach, which can vary in the assembly of its options depending on the nature of the organism. IITA scientists and collaborators have developed a range of interventions, often discovered only after thorough ecological and biodiversity studies, as in the case of flower thrips and pod borers in cowpea. Our research has resulted in a strategy using tolerant varieties, establishing and preserving natural enemies on wild host plant refugia, and intervening at the field level with biorational pesticide applications.
Table of contents
4 Conclusions and future trends
5 Where to look for further information