The escalating populations in Africa contribute to the already existing challenge of food insecurity, which is further exacerbated by the emergence and resurgence of pests and diseases, resulting in substantial annual yield losses. Maize, a vital staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa, serves as crucial food source, animal fodder, and raw material for industries. Nonetheless, its vulnerability to pests and diseases puts significant pressure on the crop. Consequently, the extensive losses experienced during pre and post-harvest stages due to insect pests and fungal diseases constitute grave menace to food security. Managing these destructive pests and diseases in a sustainable manner is a complex task that necessitates collaboration at regional and global levels. Notable examples of highly damaging insect pests and fungal diseases of maize include the spotted stem borer, black maize beetle, African stalk borer, fall armyworm, maize ear rot, and grey leaf spot. Thus, this review examines the economic implications and management practices used in SSA. It offers recommendations for the enhancement, coordination, and adoption of integrated pest and disease management approaches on a regional scale. The study’s findings aim to support ongoing research efforts focused on maize crops, benefiting Agricultural entomologists, plant pathologists, breeders, and other stakeholders worldwide.
Key words: Maize, food insecurity, insect pests, fungal diseases, sustainable management.
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