The Farmer’s Perception On Weaverbird Pest On Agricultural Crop Damage In Ekona Farming Area, Southwest Region, Cameroon
Birds scaring in traditional African agriculture are an important part of a family’s farming activity. Presently, farmers are protecting their crops from birds with the same traditional techniques used since crop cultivation began, including trying to frighten birds by shouting; using noise making devices such as cans, drums, or cracking whips, and throwing mudstones. The Southwest Region of Cameroon is known for its potentials in the production of major agricultural commodities, but farmers’ yields are low and dwindling over time due to some major constraints like the weaverbird pest. Hence, the objective of this study was to assess the crop damage caused by the weaverbird population in Ekona farming area. The data collection method was done by the used of questionnaire. A total of 504 questionnaires were administered to farmers. The research data was analyzed by the use of chi-square and correlation. The results obtained showed that there is a significant relationship between challenges faced by farmers and weaverbird attack (R2=0.581,P<0.05). Moreso, 65% of farmers rated weaverbird as regular pest while 37.5% refused. Also, about 35.3% of the respondents used their voices and clapping to repel the weaverbirds, 11.8% used tools like scare-crows and noisy vessels, and 17.3% used stones as methods to control weaverbirds, about 97.2% of the respondents reported that they felt discouraged at times due to weaverbird menace on their crops and 2.8% did not feel same way. Evaluating crop attacked by weaverbirds, respondents acknowledged that maize; plantains and oil palm were the crops mostly attacked by weaver birds with 99.2%, 99.2% and 100% respectively, 59.5% for fruit trees and 1.98% for tubers. This survey has revealed a severe conflict between the farmers and the weaverbirds and the farmers yield increase depends on the proper protective mechanism of agricultural crops against the weaverbird population.