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Aims: To assess the different cultural activities that influence the spread of fungal diseases on common bean and record the prevalence, severity and incidence of the diseases in some localities of the Western Highlands of Cameroon.
Study Design: Structured questionnaire, Field survey, Laboratory identification of fungal diseases.
Place and Duration of Study: Some subdivisions of the Western Highlands of Cameroon and Departments of Crop Protection University of Dschang and Catholic University of Cameroon Bamenda from May 2016 –December 2017.
Methodology: Field inspection formats were developed in the form of structured questionnaire and interview guide to record data related to farmer’s agronomic practices. A total of two hundred and eighty farmers and other stakeholders were interviewed on various aspects of agronomic practices. The survey of foliar fungal diseases was done in 2017 second cropping season (August to December) following the main roads and accessible routes in each surveyed area. Stops were made randomly every 1-2km intervals depending on the proximity of farm field to one another. Three sampling sites per farm were assessed for disease prevalence, incidence and severity using the CIAT evaluation scale of 1-9. Leaf samples were culture in PDA.
Results: Majority of farmers practiced shifting cultivation and mixed cropping. The organic fertilizer poultry manure is widely used closely followed by pig, cow and goat dung. As regards mineral fertilizers, 59.7% of farmers indicated the application of different inorganic fertilizers on their farms. The results indicated that the highest observed diseases in the various localities were angular leaf spot, rust, anthracnose, white mould, leaf yellowing, floury leaf spot and Ascochyta leaf spot in that descending order in terms of prevalence, incidence and severity.
Conclusion: From the assessment, angular leaf spot is a serious threat to common bean production in these localities. Its spread and that of the other fungal diseases is greatly influenced by the various cultural practices. Proper agronomic practices and information on disease monitoring are key to the improvement of bean cultivation.
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