Pumpkin;The miracle plant

Mulopi Joseph and Mary Nakirya

Pumpkins are one of the climbing plants similar to guards. They are eaten fresh  or dried.. Apart from the real fruit,the seeds and leaves are also eaten with very high nutritional values.

Farmers in Masaka claim that once seeds are eaten by a man, he will become sexually stronger.

They are rich in carotenoids which are well known for keeping human immune system strong and healthier.Because of the beta carotene content in the fruit,chances of strokes are also reduced. They also slow down the process of aging and eye problems which may result into blindness.

The high fibre content in them is good for bowel health yet the potassium reduces hypertension.

The zinc in them is good for bones and boosts the immune system.

The leaves contain iron,phospherous and sulphur.

The cooling and cleansing property in the fruit reduces hunger over due to too much alcohol.Get leaves,boil and drink the soup. The effect is immediate.

To prepare pumpkin,cut and cook the well washed fruit.The seeds can be dried and fried or cooked while fresh and eaten. Some people get young fruits of pumpkin, cut into pieces and put them in the sun for drying. The pieces can then be cooked as soup or mixed in ground nuts .


August 29, 2010 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Mite identification

miteCould you help me to identify the mite that I had found in Shallot Bulbs? I need a specialist confirmation from you. Is the mite is Rhizoglyphus echinoporus? Thank you for your kind attention… Ummu


From Rumenda: I have identified the mite on photo, and the result is Rhizoglyphus echinopus. And now I want to ask for your confirmation, if the result true or not.

From Zhang: This mite is not a member of Rhizoglyphus.  Looks like a Tyrophagus. The photo contains not enough details for id.

You may find the follow book (available free online) useful:

From Ghosh: I also have same opinion.

June 24, 2009 at 4:28 am 1 comment

Tomato fruit rot

On one of our commercial vegetable farms I observed a very high fruit damage something like 50% of the fruits were showing the round soft areas with a small pin hole in the center. My best guess is fruit piercing moth damage. I told the farmer to cover the plot with an insect screen and check at night time if he can find fruit piercing moths. Do we have any comments or disagreement to my ID… Mark


From Peter: One of the likely culprits. Other possibilities are a sap-sucking bug like Nezara – sucking the fruits when slightly smaller – and, hopefully not, fruit fly – in which case there would be larvae inside.

From Richard: Is there any evidence of eggs and or larvae in the pulp? If not, then it is more likely to be an insect feeding than an insect ovipositing.

It appears as if the skin is firm around the ‘pinhole’. Green vegetable bugs, (as mentioned by Peter Maddison in his reply), and another smaller green bug produce this type of damage to tomatoes in my home garden in north Queensland. The area adjacent to the feeding puncture tends not to colour up (as in your photo) and not break down (= rot), compared to the collapse associated with fruit fly damage. These bugs feed on the smaller fruit while they are still green and can be difficult to spot as they move to the opposite side of the fruit when monitoring or to the spaces between a fruit cluster.  If you shake the bushes with a tray underneath these bugs will drop off and can be collected before they take flight. If you can spray the plants with a knockdown insecticide (one of the synthetic pyrethroids) this might also reveal the culprit.

I am unfamiliar with FPM damage to tomato but would have thought if this was caused by FPM that there would have been collapse of the adjacent area. This collapse probably occurs as a result of the introduction of rot organisms such as bacteria and fungi. In other fruit such as lychee, carambola, and citrus fruit collapse/ deterioration occurs rapidly and a fruit as soft as a tomato would break down very quickly.

Anyway hope these comments help but good observation by he grower as you suggest should identify the culprit. I will be very interested to hear what you find out in due course is causing this problem.

tomato fruit rotFrom Konrad: Thank you for your reply and the information. I don’t think the damage is caused by fruit flies because there were no eggs or larvae in the fruits. However I did see Green Vegetable bugs and Leaf Footed Plant Bugs. It is possible that the damage is caused by Nezara. I should go back to the field at night (it’s a 25 km drive) and see if their are FPM’s. Later the fruit does break down and rots.

From Tolo Iosefa: It is fruit piercing moth damage, best way to be sure of this is visit your garden early hours of the evening (night) with a net and a light and see if any FPM fly around your tomatoes.

From Dick: Agree with FPM. Go at dusk with a torch and a plastic bag and catch them. Three nights will probably be enough.

June 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Head cabbage clubing problem

A farmer had complained to us about root clubing problem on his young head cabbage plants in the field. It started in one section of the plot and is spreading to other parts. I suspect the problem to be due to nematode attack. Any information on the causal agent and its control measures will be much appreciated… Mark


From John: Club root of cabbage is caused by Plasmodiophorabrassicae a soil living fungus. Equipment used in intercultivation enables rapid spread of the disease. Raising the pH of the soil by liming will help. Soil drench with fungicide is useful to begin with. I have found good old bordeaux mixture useful. For long term management, avoid brassicas in that plot for a few rotations at least.

From Malvika: Club root is a disease caused by agetn called Plasmidophora brassicae which is a myxomycetes: it is generally spread due to contamination in irrigation water.

Head cabbage clubing problem Head cabbage clubing problem2

From John: From the photos, I am guessing that the cabbage seedling is 2-3 weeks old. If that is true, the root symptoms appear far too advanced to pin it on nematodes, although there are a few typical Meloidogyne nodules.  Another reason why nematode infestation is less likely, is because brassicas are generally less susceptible to nematodes than many other vegetable crops – to the extent that it is often used in a rotation after a Meloidogyne-susceptible crop. (I must hasten to add that this resistance is not guaranteed across sub species and varieties). This makes Plasmodiophora the most likely culprit.

June 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm 1 comment

About this blog

In the course of implementing the CELAC Project (http://www.celac.or.ug), numerous agricultural pests are mentioned by the farmers and other stakeholders. This platform therefore, stands as a growing dictionary of these pests


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