Principal Disease and Insect Pests of Jatropha curcas L. in the Lower Valley of the Senegal River
Abstract, Tropicultura, 2012
Jatropha curcas L. seed oil is proven to be toxic to many microorganisms, insects and animals. Despite its toxicity, Jatropha is not pest and disease resistant. The following major pests and diseases affecting Jatropha in the lower valley of the Senegal river have been identified: the leaf miner Stomphastis thraustica (Meyrick, 1908) (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae), the leaf and stem miner Pempelia morosalis (Saalmuller, 1880) (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae) and the shield-backed bug Calidea panaethiopica (Kirkaldy, 1909) (Heteroptera, Scutelleridae), which can cause flower and fruit abortion. Damage from these pests was particularly great during the second year after the plantations were set up (2009) and before later receding. Nevertheless, the worst attacks were caused by a vascular disease transmitted through the soil, which killed 65% of the plants in four years. It is mainly characterised by collar and root rot, which causes foliage to yellow and wilt, before the plant eventually dies. These threats should increase if larger areas are planted with Jatropha. Considering the scale of the damage caused by these attacks in Bokhol, the development of an integrated pest management programme adapted to the local context should be considered.