Authors: Mwesige Rose, Alex Barekye, Etiang Joseph, Kwikiriza Gerald, Uzatunga Innocent, Kyarisiima Sarah
The yield of potato, an important food security and income crop in Uganda is substantially affected by pests. A survey was carried out in south western Uganda, a major potato growing area to assess the distribution and severity of potato pests in June and July 2015. In addition, leaf miner management options such as pesticide use, yellow sticky traps and mulching were evaluated for effectiveness. Trials in leaf miner hot spots in Bukimbiri and Chahi sub-counties of Kisoro district were conducted in three seasons during 2016 to 2017. In each sub-county, two sites were selected per season and trials were established in a completely randomized design with each treatment being replicated three times. From the survey, aphids and leaf miners were the major pests with high incidences in Kabale and Kisoro districts and rarely encountered in Rukungiri and Kanungu. Use of Dudu-acelamectin reduced leaf miner damage on leaves in season 1 (2017; P=0.001) and registered significantly higher yields compared to other treatments. Yellow sticky traps trapped high leaf miner fly populations but leaf miner damage on leaves and yield were not significantly different from control and mulched plots. Judicious use of pesticides in high leaf miner populations together with yellow sticky traps can reduce leaf miner populations and damage on potato. Key words: Potato, potato leaf miner, pesticides, yellow sticky traps.