Termite management in tropical agroforestry
Nkunika, Philip Obed Yobe
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This book is intended to be used as a guide to management of termites in agroforestry and farmsteads where termites pose serious problems. Emphasis is placed on tropical agroforestry and more specifically in Africa. However, it is also hoped that the book will be of use in other continents where termites pose problems. It has been written in response to the growing need to improve understanding of termite problems and taking appropriate action based on such knowledge. In the past, blanket recommendations for termite control have resulted in inefficient and unsustainable use of resources and have had negative impacts on the environment. Control practices have often been initiated on anecdotal information rather than on sound scientific inquiry into the biology and ecology of the local termite species and their true impact on crops or trees. It is important to note that there is no single method that can be universally recommended for termite control because several species may be found in an area and each species has a unique biology and ecology. Therefore, the level of control depends on the knowledge of the termite species, the tree or crop species, climatic conditions and other environmental factors. Our aim is to promote a more sustainable management of termites, i.e., an approach that ensures (1) control of the pest species without causing ecological damage and loss of the ecosystem services provided by termites, (2) conservation of the non-pest termite species, and (3) utilisation of termites and associated resources without exhausting them. This can be achieved through adequate understanding of termite biology and application of control measures based on ecological principles. The intended users of this manual are farmers (subsistence as well as commercial), extension officers, researchers, pest control operators and students. The aim is to provide basic information on termites and help people to take more informed actions to manage termites in agroforestry. This book is presented in six chapters. Chapter one introduces the concept of agroforestry, agroforestry practices, different types of agroforestry, advantages of agroforestry and introduces the subject of termite management in agroforestry. Chapter two provides a description of the biology of termites including their social organisation, life cycle, nesting behaviour, classification and food. Chapter three provides a summary of the beneficial aspects of termites. Chapter four provides a brief discussion on common pestiferous termites and the damage they cause to crops and trees. Chapter five focuses on principles that should be followed for sustainable management of pestiferous termites in agroforestry with less emphasis on control and Chapter six ends with concluding remarks and prods scholars to do further research in this much neglected, but very important area.
University of Zambia Press