Original Research

Use of indigenous knowledge to control potato pests in Umzimkhulu Local Municipality

Amahle M. Ngxabi, Phumudzo P. Tshikhudo, Fhatuwani N. Mudau
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 25, No 1 | a1640 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v25i1.1640 | © 2023 Amahle Masande Ngxabi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2022 | Published: 06 July 2023

About the author(s)

Amahle M. Ngxabi, Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa, Florida, South Africa
Phumudzo P. Tshikhudo, Pest Risk Analysis Division, Directorate Plant Health, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa
Fhatuwani N. Mudau, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, South Africa


Background: In South Africa, Umzimkhulu Local Municipality (ULM) is one of the areas where many households engage in subsistence agricultural activities for survival. However, there are several pests reported and studies have identified as constraints in potato production.

Objectives: The current study was conducted to evaluate the indigenous approaches used in managing pests of potatoes by smallholder farmers in ULM.

Method: Semi-structured questionnaire was used to gather information and data were analyzed using the Statistica Software Package, Version 2010 (StatSoft Inc., Tulsa, OK, USA).

Results: The study revealed that majority of farmers with their limited knowledge, rely on indigenous knowledge (IK) practices to control potato pests; athough both indigenous knowledge method and inorganic pesticides are effective in pest management.

Conclusion: Information on IK that is carried by elders in the rural communities is at risk of being lost due to death of these information holders; therefore, documentation of this information is recommended. External support to develop the skills and knowledge of farmers by identifying existing knowledge that is relevant to their circumstances is crucial.

Contribution: Through a deeper understanding of IK and the documentation of these techniques for those who want to increase potato production in these communities, the study aims to have a sustainable effect on pest and disease management in rural communities. Enhancing research projects with rural communities, where this knowledge is frequently the only asset they control and undoubtedly one they are acquainted with, can be especially successful by building innovations on IK.


indigenous knowledge; pest and diseases; yield; potatoes; potato farmers

JEL Codes

D13: Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 1: No poverty


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