Survey, biology and control of agromyzid beanflies in common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in Kenya

The common beans are the most widely grown pulses in Kenya. They are intercropped with such crops as maize, sorghum, cassava, in high and low potential areas. They are consumed as green leaves, green pods and dry beans and form an economic source of protein to the bulk of Kenya population. However, despite their importance as a major source of protein, their yields are variable for a number of reasons. One of the major limitations to obtaining high yields include insect pests. Among the pests of the beans, certain agromyzid beanflies have been reported to cause heavy losses to beans in Kenya. The control measures for the beanflies include mainly seed treatment with aldrin or dieldrin. However, these insecticides are being withdrawn because of their persistence in the environment. Therefore, the objectives of the research project are as follows: 1) to map the distribution of beanflies in bean growing areas in Kenya in four cropping seasons. 2) to identify the losses of common beans due to beanflies in farmers fields in four seasons. 3) To relate the biology of beanflies to the growth stages of the common beans grown in the field for two seasons. 4) to determine the effectiveness of the insecticides and natural enemies in the control of beanflies on common beans grown in the field for four seasons. 5) to investigate the incidence of beanflies and its natural enemies in different cropping patterns of common beans grown in the field for four seasons. 6) To evaluate soil, seed, foliar and spray treatments for control of beanflies. The project will evolve an integrated control strategy of beanflies for the poor resource farmer. The results will be obtained by undertaking a survey in farmers fields, field and laboratory experiments at the research centres. The cost for all the research activities will be U$12,588. The project is expected to take two years