The Effect of Harvester Ants (Messor spp) Nests on Farmers’ Productivity in Semi-Arid Zone of Maiduguri, Nigeria
Degri, M. M.; Sharah, H. A.; Maina, Y. T. and Musa, H. S.
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
Field survey is carried out on cowpea, millet and groundnut farms in five villages of Maiduguri area located in the North Eastern Nigeria (Latitude 11o 51’N and Longitude 13o 16’E) from October to December, 2010 and 2011 to investigate the effect of harvesters' ants (Messor spp) on farmers productivity in semi-arid zone of Maiduguri, Nigeria. Five farmers’ farms were randomly selected from each crop (Cowpea, groundnut and millet) being the predominant crops cultivated in the area) for the survey. The primary aim of the survey is to assess ant nest size, nest area and the number of plant loss caused by the ants activities. Data for the study were generated through physical examination and measurement using measurement tape. The readings of the measurement were recorded. Data obtained from the field survey was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means were separated using least significant difference (LSD) at 5% level of probability. The survey shows that all the farms had different nest sizes that were not significant from one another but their nest area and plant loss were significantly different from one another. Millet farms had the highest nest area and a corresponding plant loss than groundnut and cowpea farms. Arable crop farmers in Maiduguri area are advised to manage or avoid harvester ant nests in their farms to reduce loss of their crops during cropping seasons.