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Volume 7      Special Issue-2019

Distribution of Cylas formicarius (Coleoptera: Brentidae) and assessment of knowledge, attitudes and practices of community towards pests in Terengganu, Malaysia
 

Mohammad Zarith Zol1, Nur Aida Hashim1*, Khadijah Saad1, Norasmah Basari2, Suhaila Ab Hamid3, Nur Faeza Abu Kassim3, Shamsul Bahri AR1

1Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

2Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

3School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia

Abstract

Sweet potato is one of an important cash crop in Malaysia. Varieties such as orange, white and purple fleshed were planted in Terengganu state which is one of the biggest sweet potato producer in Malaysia. The production of sweet potato is limited by the infestation of insect pests. Farmers in Terengganu have reported that sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius attacked their sweet potatoes during cultivation and this problem continue after harvest where the pest affected produces at commercial centres. To study the distribution of sweet potato weevil, field sampling were conducted in eight districts of Terengganu by visiting sweet potato cultivation areas and commercial centres (market, stalls and grocery stores). In this study, five kilogram of damaged sweet potatoes from variety orange, white and purple fleshed collected from all eight districts of Terengganu were highly infested by C. formicarius where Besut was recorded with the highest number of weevil emergence, X2(7, N = 7748) = 1764.79, p< 0.05. This showed that C. formicarius population had distributed all over Terengganu. A survey was conducted on 240 respondents showed that the majority (72.92%) of them have low knowledge level regarding sweet potato weevil and its associated problems which led to the low level of awareness/attitude (71.25%) and practice (99.58%) on this issue. The findings of this study are useful to plan guidelines for sweet potato integrated pest management (IPM) programs which will ensure adequate food production and food security for the nation.
Keywords: Pest infestation, Cash crop, Cultivation, Post-harvest, Wetland

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