About

Director's Message

Our commitment to improving management of important pests of crops, animals and humans is the lifeblood of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Pest Management Centre (SPMC). I am deeply proud of the remarkable work our team is doing to acquire knowledge and generate solutions for pest problems in Tanzania and elsewhere in the region.

SPMC’s research activities are broadly destined at understanding the biology and ecology of important vertebrate and invertebrate pests of crops, animals and humans; and eventually developing sustainable technologies and/or strategies to manage such pests. Most of our research projects for the last three decades have overwhelmingly been focusing on rodent pests, as the main source of crop damage/losses and zoonotic diseases.

Recently (2017), the Centre competitively acquired a prestigious status ‘Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development (Acronym: Rat-Tech)’. This Centre aims at building capacity in rodent research and biosensor technology development across the region.

Going forward, we have started growing our research capacity towards other priority pests notably armyworms, Quelea quelea, termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas, tsetseflies ticks and blackflies. The Centre is already housing researchers with the relevant expertise and experience; therefore we will use them to catalyze and drive our efforts towards that direction. In view of the same, we are progressively factoring in other strategies: Early Career Researchers Development Program (already in place), postdoctoral fellows program, increasing grant applications, employing additional research staff based on research projects and creating and/or improving capacity through exchange programmes.

I do hope that you will enjoy exploring more about who we are and what we do; and if you are interested in collaborating or you are aspiring to become one of us, feel free to get in touch.

DR. LADSLAUS MNYONE

DR. LADSLAUS MNYONE

DIRECTOR

Vision

“To become a reputable centre of Excellence in pest research and management"

This vision broadly aims at increasing the quality and quantity of agricultural and animal produce and to improve human health through research on sustainable pest management technologies, which are accessible to stakeholders in Tanzania and elsewhere.

Mission

“To carry out basic and applied research, teaching and to provide extension services in the field of pest management."

Our History

The Sokoine University of Agriculture, Pest Management Centre (SPMC) evolved from a collaborative Rodent Research Project between the University of Antwerp, Belgium and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sokoine University of Agriculture. This project was founded by a Belgian Scientist, the late Prof. Walter Verheyen in 1986.

The project coordinators in Tanzania were Prof. Richard Silayo (1986 – 1987), Prof. Bukheti Kilonzo (1987 – 1991) and Prof. Robert Machang’u (1991 – 2000). Throughout this period, the research activities focused almost exclusively on rodent pests.

In 2000, the Rodent Research Project was renamed as Pest Management Centre and research mandate broadened to include invertebrate and vertebrate pests other than rodents. Prof. Robert Machang’u became the first Director (July 2000 – June 2006); followed by Prof. Rhodes Makundi (July 2006 – June 2014), Prof. Apia Massawe (July 2014 – June 2017) and now Dr. Ladslaus Mnyone (July 2017 to date).

Purpose of SPMC at SUA

  • The establishment of Sokoine University Pest Management Centre (SPMC) is aimed at enhancing capacity in pest research at SUA and in Tanzania in general by creating a coherence of pest research activities relevant to agricultural, veterinary, forest and the health sector in Tanzania. The SPMC collaborates with other researchers in the Faculties of Agriculture, Forestry, Science and Veterinary Medicine at SUA, and many institutions outside SUA including collaborators overseas.
  • The establishment of the Centre, enables SUA to have a more focused approach in pest research activities, strengthen its status as a centre of excellence in training, research, extension, and consultancy.
  • The SPMC is an important organ at SUA, with the mandate to plan, prioritize and carry out basic and applied research on important animal and plant pests. Most of the pest research and development activities are executed by a core of competent scientists and staff in academic Departments at SUA. It also consists of a minimum of core administrative, laboratory and support staff.

Major activities at SPMC

The main mandate of the SPMC is “to carry out and coordinate pest research activities at SUA and to collaborate with other stakeholders within and outside Tanzania” specifically, the mandates specifies the following activities:

  • Conduct basic and applied research in the biology and ecology of animal and plant pests.
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate training in areas of pest biology, ecology and management.
  • Support of extension services and provision of consultancy in pest management activities.
  • Coordination of pest research and management activities at SUA and to foster global collaboration in the area of pest management with stakeholders.
  • Serving as a referral centre for research, training and management of pests.
  • To develop novel techniques for both diseases detection, landmine detection and other applications of biosensor technology for humanitarian or commercial purposes as may be feasible.
  • To develop together with relevant departments at SUA and external stakeholders appropriate degree programs which focus on pest management.