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Aim: To ascertain knowledge and adaptation strategies of eggplant (Solanum melongena) farmers to the effect of bacterial wilt disease in Nsukka Agricultural zone of Enugu state, Nigeria.
Study Design: Multi-stage and Simple Random Sampling Design/Technique were used in the study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State, Nigeria. The study took place between October 2017 and September 2018.
Methodology: One hundred and eight eggplant farmers were selected from three blocks and nine circles for the study. Percentage and mean scores were used to present the data.
Results: Findings reveal that the majority (96.30%) of the respondents had high knowledge on eggplant bacterial wilt disease. Some of the major effects of bacterial wilt disease on eggplant as perceived by the respondents were reduction in yield/output (x̅=2.84) and reduction in quality of harvested eggplant (x̅=2.81). Some adaptive strategies employed by the respondents to the effect of bacterial wilt disease were use of fertilizer (97.20%) and early planting of eggplants (96.30%). Constraints to egg plant farmers’ adaptation to bacterial wilt disease were: drudgery involved in controlling the disease (x̅=2.83) and high cost of good/disease free planting material (x̅= 2.80). Proper weeding (84.30%) and fumigation of the entire farmland before cultivation (79.60%) were some of the possible solutions to the destructive effects of bacterial wilt diseases.
Conclusion: The respondents had high knowledge on bacterial wilt disease, which helps them to adapt to the deleterious effects of the disease on their eggplants.
Recommendation: The study recommends that governments and non-governmental organizations should invest in eggplants research in order to solve farmers’ problems; through evolvement and provision of resistant variety, recommended agronomic practices and agrochemicals of eggplants to farmers. Dissemination of output of the research through extension will boost the capacity of the farmers in order to adapt and overcome the disease.
Policy Implications: The investments on eggplants should be innovative and it should explore possible production and management strategies that not only boost but also, make eggplant enterprises sustainable. Policy must be focused on educating eggplant farmers on improved production and management practices on eggplant enterprises. This can be disseminated by agricultural extension workers and other relevant institutions. Policy must also focus on specific and pragmatic programs such as input supply programs (improved seeds, resistant varieties, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides etc.) at affordable or subsidized prices. This must be designed in such a way that it identifies the right pathways to get to the eggplant farmers on appropriate time.
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