Economic Rationale of Using African Weaver Ants, Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Sustainable Management of Cashew Pests in Tanzania

  • Gration M. RwegasiraEmail author
  • Maulid M. Mwatawala
  • Rozalia G. Rwegasira
  • Abdullah N. Rashidi
  • Nene Wilson
  • William George


Cashew nut, Anacardium occidentale Linnaeus, is an important crop to the African economy, contributing to livelihood of many families. It is among the top foreign-currency-earning crops in East and West African countries. The crop is attacked by several sucking pests that survive on multiple host plants. These include: Pseudotheraptus wayi, Helopeltis anacardii, H. schoutedeni, and Selenothrips rubrocinctus. Management of these pests is usually a challenge which triggers irrational use of synthetic pesticides. Excessive use of pesticides concerns human health and pollution in the environment. The use of African weaver ants, Oecophylla longinoda, has presented an alternative to pesticides for sustainable cashew pest management. The predator was found to be as highly effective (P < 0.0001) as the recommended insecticide (Lambda cyhalothrin) (P < 0.0001) in controlling cashew pests. The several economic analyses on the profitability of the technology over the recommended pesticides by partial budgeting, marginal rate of returns, benefit-cost ratio and net present value proved O. longionda to be superior to pesticides. The partial budgeting indicated a net benefit of US$7.72 per cashew tree by changing from insecticides to O. longinoda within two seasons. The dominance analysis for marginal rate of returns indicated a net profit of US$11.39 per tree in two seasons compared to US$5.74 per tree gained from Lambda cyhalothrin. If adopted for use, the predator will provide a sustainable solution to cashew pest management and overcome the pesticide residue threats in marketed cashew from Africa.


Cashewnut Oecophylla longinoda Economic rationale Insect pests Sustainable management Tanzania 



Authors are thankful to Dr. Joachim Offenberg and Prof. Mogen G. Nielsen of Aarhus University, Denmark, for technical collaboration in designing the research work. The study was financially supported by the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) through grant DFC no. 10-025AU.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gration M. Rwegasira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maulid M. Mwatawala
    • 1
  • Rozalia G. Rwegasira
    • 2
  • Abdullah N. Rashidi
    • 3
  • Nene Wilson
    • 4
  • William George
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Crop Science and HorticultureSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Morogoro Region Administrative Secretariat, Morogoro Regional SecretariatMorogoroTanzania
  3. 3.Research Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and FisheriesPembaTanzania
  4. 4.TARI NaliendeleMtwaraTanzania
  5. 5.University of Dodoma (UDOM)DodomaTanzania

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