Cowpea virus disease occurrence: implication for food security and sustainable development in Kwara State – Nigeria

Taiye Hussein Aliyu*, Olusegun Samuel Balogun, Robert Omotayo Uddin Ii

Department Of Crop Protection, Faculty Of Agriculture, University Of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515 Ilorin-Nigeria

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Abstract: A virus disease survey was carried out between the months of October and November 2011, in thirty locations of the guinea savanna and rain forest agroecologies of Kwara State – Nigeria with the objective of evaluating the incidence and severity of cowpea viruses. The virus incidence (VI), on cowpea were estimated based on fifty plant observations per field and virus severity (VS), was scored on a scale of 1-5 based on the percentage number of leaves per plant showing virus symptoms. The results indicated that virus incidence were higher in the rain forest agroecology (79% – 90%) compared with the guinea savannah agroecology(43% – 73%). The severity index value were however similar irrespective of the agroecology. The findings indicate the need for the sustainable management of virus diseases which in this study has been found to be rampant and therefore could cause crop yield reductions. It is important to curb the menace of these viruses since cowpea is an important food source for the rural poor. It is therefore expedient to imbibe eco-friendly,cost effective and sustainable management practices to control the viral pathogens. This would enhance food security and cause the reduction in poverty levels among rural dwellers in a developing country like Nigeria.

Keywords: Cowpea, Survey, Food security, Rural farmers, Sustainable management, Plant pathogen. 

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