The mango tree in central and northern Benin: cultivar inventory, yield assessment, infested stages and loss due to fruit flies (Diptera Tephritidae) uri icon

abstract

  • Introduction. The mango tree is of prime importance to the rural economy of central and northern Benin since it provides food and crucial nutriments at the end of the dry season. However, mango producers in Benin are confronted with two problems that are closely connected: deterioration of fruit quality by fruit flies and the inadequacy of postharvest methods. In the Sudanian zone of Benin, fruit flies (Diptera Tephritidae) are highly responsible for major production losses. Materials and methods. An inventory of all present cultivars and yields of main mango cvs. (Gouverneur, Eldon, Dabshar, Kent, Smith, Keitt and Brooks) was carried out in Benin on 7 000 fruits near Parakou (Borgou) during the years 2005 and 2006. Sampling of 3 000 young fruits ( length range 13-26 mm) was carried out in 2006 in order to detect some very early tephritid attacks. A loss assessment of pre-ripening and ripening fruits was also carried out on 7 750 fruits in 2006. Results and discussion. We identified 29 cultivars in the district of Borgou where 75% of the mango orchards of Benin are situated. Most of these use the 'gatherer' production system. The early Gouverneur cultivar had the lowest yield (1.8 t.ha(-1)), and the late Brooks cultivar had the highest yield (10.4 t.ha(-1)). Small and immature young fruits allowed development of both C. cosyra and B. invadens in February and March, i.e., before the mango season itself: this result could be a useful result for pest control. For the pre-ripening and ripening stages, average losses due to tephritid varied from 0.34 t.ha(-1) to 6.5 t.ha(-1) depending on cultivar type, resulting in considerable loss of income for small planters. Taking all cultivars together, losses stood at 17% in early April and exceeded 70% at mid-June. By the middle of the crop year, over 50% losses were recorded. The seasonal cultivar Eldon and late cultivars ( Keitt and Brooks) were the most infested. Conclusion. In the Sudanian zone of Benin, the two main species of Tephritidae that have a high economic impact on mango trees are B. invadens and C. cosyra. Our preliminary observations and calculations will be used in a forthcoming article to calculate the economic injury level of these fruit flies.

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008
  • 2008