Type: Book

Critical issues in plant health: 50 years of research in African agriculture


Dr Peter Neuenschwander is an Emeritus Scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), based in Benin. Formerly Director of the IITA's Plant Health Management Division, he has worked on integrated pest management (IPM) projects in over 25 countries.

Dr Manuele Tamò is insect ecologist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Benin, with a particular focus on IPM in cereal-legume systems. He has worked with organisation such as AVRDC, ICRISAT and AfriceRice on IPM projects in many countries.



Publication date:

31 January 2019

Length of book:

492 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786762320

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Plant health covers topics such as the safe handling and movement of germplasm and seed, as well as the range of biotic threats faced by crops and the ways they can be managed to optimise yields and ensure safety and quality in crop production. These threats include viral, bacterial and fungal diseases as well as the impact of insect pests and weeds. This collection summarises 50 years of research on plant health by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to improve the health of crops in Africa.

The first part of the book reviews general issues such as pest and disease surveillance and the range of viruses affecting key African crops. Part 2 summarises key research on improving the health of major crops such as cassava, maize, yams and cocoyams, bananas and plantains, legumes, vegetables and tree fruits. The final part of the book discusses ways of improving integrated pest management of insect pests, diseases and weeds in sub-Saharan Africa.

This unique book brings together some of the world’s leading experts on plant health in sub-Saharan Africa to review progress in dealing with the range of biotic threats faced by African farmers, and will be a standard reference on improving the management of pests and diseases in developing countries.

Key features

  • Focuses on plant health issues in sub-Saharan Africa which are key to improving yields 
  • Reviews ways of improving the health of key African crops such as cassava, maize and grain legumes 
  • Brings together leading experts on plant health in sub-Saharan Africa

What others are saying...

“This book, a must read for international agricultural scientists and pest management specialists, describes in meticulous detail how a group of eminent scientists have dedicated their lives to produce research that has led to stunning breakthroughs in the development of pest management strategies designed to solve the problems of African food insecurity, hunger and poverty.” Professor E. A. "Short" Heinrichs, Secretary General - International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences

Table of contents

Part 1 Managing threats to plant health
1.Key challenges in plant health in sub-Saharan Africa: stakeholder priorities: Kenton Dashiell, IITA, Nigeria;
2.Introduction to critical issues in plant health: a 50-year retrospective on African agriculture: Peter Neuenschwander and Manuele Tamò, IITA, Benin;
3.Disease surveillance, diagnostics and germplasm health in crop protection: P. Lava Kumar, IITA, Nigeria; J. P. Legg, IITA, Tanzania; M. Ayodele, IITA, Nigeria; G. Mahuku, IITA, Tanzania; and A. Ortega-Beltran and R. Bandyopadhyay, IITA, Nigeria;
4.Conserving and exploiting biodiversity in crop cultivation in sub-Saharan Africa: Georg Goergen and Peter Neuenschwander, IITA, Benin; and Danny Coyne, IITA, Kenya;
5.Viruses and their vectors in sub-Saharan African crops: James Legg, IITA, Tanzania, P. Lava Kumar, IITA, Nigeria; George Mahuku and Everlyne Wosula, IITA, Tanzania; Livia Stavolone, IITA, Nigeria; Eugene Terry, New Markets Lab, USA; and Nilsa Bosque-Pérez, University of Idaho, USA;

Part 2 Plant health in practice: managing threats to key African crops
6.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: cassava: M. Toko and P. Neuenschwander, IITA, Benin; J. S.Yaninek, Purdue University, USA; A. Ortega-Betran, IITA, Nigeria; A. Fanou and V. Zinsou, Université de Parakou, Benin; K. Wydra, Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany; R. Hanna and A. Fotso, IITA, Cameroon; and O.K. Douro-Kpindou, IITA, Benin;
7.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: maize: Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, IITA, Nigeria; Kitty F. Cardwell, Oklahoma State University, USA; Alejandro Ortega-Beltran, IITA, Nigeria; Fritz Schulthess, Rheinstrasse 160, Switzerland; William Meikle, USDA-ARS, USA; Mamoudou Sétamou, Texas A&M University, USA; and Peter J. Cotty, USDA-ARS, USA;
8.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: yam, taro and cocoyam: Babatima Djana Mignouna, IITA, Benin; P. Lava Kumar, IITA, Nigeria; Danny Coyne, IITA, Kenya; and Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, Alejandro Ortega-Beltran, Ranjana Bhattacharjee and David De Koeyer, IITA, Nigeria;
9.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: banana and plantain: Stefan Hauser, IITA, Nigeria; C. Clifford Gold, International Agriculture Consultant, USA; Cornelia Pasberg-Gauhl and Friedhelm Gauhl, Consulting Office for Agriculture, Austria; Juliet Akello, IITA, Zambia; Kim Jacobsen, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium; Lindsey Norgrove, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland; Daniel Coyne, IITA, Kenya; P. Lava Kumar, IITA Tanzania; George Mahuku, Manoj Kaushal and Valentine Nakato, IITA, Tanzania; and Leena Tripathi and Jaindra Tripathi, IITA, Kenya;
10.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: legumes: M. Tamò, IITA, Benin; L. Afouda, Université de Parakou, Benin; R. Bandyopadhyay, IITA, Nigeria; H. Bottenberg, United States Agency for International Development, USA; L. Cortada-Gonzales, IITA, Kenya; H. Murithi, IITA, Tanzania; A. Ortega-Beltran, IITA, Nigeria; B. Pittendrigh, Michigan State University, USA; R. Sikirou, Institut National des Recherches Agricoles au Bénin, Benin; A. Togola, IITA, Nigeria; and K.D. Wydra, Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany;
11.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: vegetables: I. Godonou, IITA and Catholic University of West Africa, Benin; M.-G. Sæthre, IITA, Nigeria; G. Tepa-Yotto, IITA and Université Nationale d’Agriculture, Benin; D. Gnanvossou and O.K. Douro Kpindou, IITA, Benin; and D. Coyne, IITA, Kenya;
12.Identifying and managing plant health risks for key African crops: fruit and other tree crops: P. Neuenschwander and D. Gnanvossou, IITA, Benin; S. Hauser, IITA, Nigeria; G. Goergen, IITA, Benin; R. Hanna, IITA, Cameroon; L. Norgrove, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland; and K. Negloh and C. Agboton, IITA, Benin;

Part 3 - Integrated pest management: putting it all together and exchange of knowledge with farmers
13.Commercial products promoting plant health in African agriculture: Frederick Schreurs and Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, IITA, Nigeria; Christiaan Kooyman, IITA, Kenya; Alejandro Ortega-Beltran and Adebowale Akande, IITA, Nigeria; Matieyedou Konlambigue, IITA, Ghana; Niels Van den Bosch, IITA, Nigeria;
14.Weeds affecting crops in sub-Saharan Africa: David Chikoye, IITA, Zambia; Friday Ekeleme, Stefan Hauser, Abebe Menkir and Alpha Y. Kamara, IITA, Nigeria; Peter Neuenschwander and Obinna Ajuonu, IITA, Benin; and Hakeem A. Ajeigbe, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Nigeria;
15.Integrated pest management (IPM) for crops in sub-Saharan Africa: Danny Coyne, IITA, Kenya; Michael Abberton, IITA, Nigeria; Sounkoura Adetonah, IITA, Benin; Maria Ayodele, IITA, Nigeria; Laura Cortada, IITA, Kenya; Brice Gbaguidi, IITA, Benin; Stefan Hauser and P. Lava Kumar, IITA, Nigeria; Peter Neuenschwander, IITA, Benin; Marc Schut, IITA, Rwanda and Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Manu Tamò, IITA, Benin; and Abou Togola, IITA, Nigeria;

Part 4 - Conclusions and future challenges
16.Conclusions and future challenges; Peter Neuenschwander, IITA, Benin;