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Robert Musundire

Robert Musundire

Professor

About

54
Publications
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Introduction
Robert does research in Agricultural Science and Entomology. Main interests are in ecological management of established, endemic and invasive insect pests in natural and ago-ecosystems. Additional research focus is on use of indigenous knowledge systems in management of insects as pests but also in utilization as beneficials including as pollinator and bio-control agents and as sustainable food resources for humans and feed for livestock. Current projects include 'Diversity of the invasive Liriomyza and other leafminer species and associated parasitoid species in Zimbabwe and Edible Insects for food security and health in Southern Africa: from practice to evidence and policy implications.

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Improved grain storage is important in reducing postharvest losses and ensuring food security particularly among smallholder farming communities. In this study, a survey was carried out to establish grain storage practices and farmer perceptions among smallholder communities using 60 farmers in Shurugwi District, Zimbabwe. This was followed by a pi...
Article
Acanthoplus discoidalis is an insect that has potential use in new product development because of its nutritional quality. This study focused on function properties of A. discoidalis flour. Protein solubility, bulk density, water and oil holding capacity and foaming and emulsifying properties were determined. Protein solubility values of A. discoid...
Article
Armoured crickets are an important food source in some parts of Zimbabwe. These insects are abundant in some regions but however, they are under utilised and not much is known about their nutritional value. The aim of this study was to determine the nutritional profile of the armoured cricket (Acanthoplus discoidalis). Armoured crickets were collec...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of crop type, cropping systems and weather elements on foraging behaviour of pollinators, which is imperative for designing pollinator friendly agricultural systems. Generalised linear models were used to assess foraging time and visitation frequency of the honey bee Apis mellifera scutellata and the sting...
Article
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• Worldwide bees provide an important ecosystem service of plant pollination. Climate change and land-use changes are among drivers threatening bee survival with mounting evidence of species decline and extinction. In developing countries, rural areas constitute a significant proportion of the country's land, but information is lacking on how diffe...
Book
Full-text available
this book focuses on African edible insect recipes that are innovative and nutritional, it is the first African edible insect book that inspires diverse cooking and offers variety.
Article
One of the traditional practices in drier eastern districts of Zimbabwe aimed to reduce protein malnutrition involves blending nutrient rich termite powders and millet flour. Despite this common practice, no standard guidelines have been developed to optimize and evaluate nutritional benefits of this blending. This study was aimed at formulating an...
Article
Full-text available
Edible insects have gained popularity as alternative food resources in the face of climate change and increasing carbon and environmental footprints associated with conventional agricultural production. Among the positive attributes that make edible insects suitable as food and feed substrates include rapid reproduction, high energy conversion effi...
Article
Macrotermes natalensis is a widely consumed edible termite species that inhabits termitaria of different soil colours in southern Africa. However, there is paucity of data regarding the relationship between termitaria soil properties, nutritional composition and safety for edible soldier termites. We hypothesised that soil properties viz. metal com...
Article
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Sustainable development of smallholder agriculture production in low and lower middle-income countries are crucial for improving food security. To accommodate this science based evidence needs to bridge with agricultural practices and policy development, which requires coordinated actions and long term strategies involving multiple stakeholders. Th...
Article
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High levels of weed infestation are among the major reasons for the limited adoption of conservation agriculture techniques by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated the effects of plant residue application (zero: NR, low: LR, medium: MR and high: HR) and hand weeding (twice: TWI, thrice: THR, four times: FOU and clean weeding: CLE)...
Article
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Pollination ecosystem service contributes tremendously to food security; however, little is known about the farmers’ awareness of the ecosystem service to ensure conservation of pollinators. This study determined farmers’ perceptions, knowledge, attitudes toward bees, and pollination in a maize-producing region of Zimbabwe using semistructured ques...
Book
Full-text available
Agriculture is the major economic activity in East and Southern Africa (ESA). Millions of the region‟s inhabitants depend on farming to support their livelihoods, most at small scale level, farming less than 5 acres of land. Concerted efforts have been made to improve farm productivity and benefits to agricultural sector stakeholders. However, the...
Article
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In 2003, the pest species Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) was reported for the first time in Kenya, Africa, and subsequently on many other African countries. In this work, 20 locations along the Rusitu Valley (Zimbabwe) were sampled in 2014 during the sweet oranges fruiting seasons, to verify the fruit fly taxonomy, invasion source, population dynamic...
Article
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Minimum tillage (MT) under conservation agriculture (CA), fertiliser application and weeding frequency influence weed seed-bank dynamics in cropping systems. A study was conducted at the Chinhoyi University of Technology farm, Zimbabwe during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 cropping seasons to investigate the influence of tillage, fertiliser and weeding on...
Article
The nutritional benefits associated with edible insects have led to the recognition of the important role that edible insects can play in improving global food and nutrition security. The acceptance of edible insects by consumers and the contribution of edible insects to food security are well studied. However, there is still a knowledge gap in ter...
Article
Full-text available
Most spiders are generalist predators and important biological control agents of various insect pests of agricultural crops. A study was conducted to determine the impact of cultural practices on the abundnace and diversity of soil surface-dwelling spiders (Araneae). Two experiments were conducted at the Chinhoyi University of Technology experiment...
Article
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This special issue was organised in the context of the 22 nd meeting of the Association of African Insect Scientists (AAIS), in Wad Medani, Sudan in 2017. The aim was to ‘support impactful research that will yield genuine edible insects products and sustain value chains that enhance food and nutritional security and support sustained livelihoods in...
Article
Full-text available
Soil dwelling beetles contribute greatly to biodiversity and offer important services in agroecosystems including predation, weed herbivory and decomposition. An experiment was conducted in the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 cropping seasons at Chinhoyi University of Technology experiment station, Zimbabwe, to investigate the impact of tillage system (con...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A study was conducted to determine the impact of tillage, mulching, fertilizer regime and weeding intensity on the abundance and diversity of soil- and litter-dwelling spiders (Araneae) and beetles (Coleoptera) under conservation agriculture (CA). The experimental design was a split-split-plot in randomised complete blocks with three replications....
Conference Paper
Improved grain storage is important in reducing postharvest losses and ensuring food security particularly among smallholder farming communities. In this study, a survey was carried to establish the current grain storage practices among smallholder communities using 60 farmers in Shurugwi district, Midlands province, Zimbabwe. This was followed by...
Conference Paper
Rape (Brassica napus L.) is a major vegetable crop cultivated in several countries including Zimbabwe and is attacked by a variety of insect pests among them aphids. The increasing costs of application of synthetic pesticides, health risk posed by pesticide residues in food and the development of insecticide resistance are major concerns in the hor...
Article
Edible insects present unique opportunities for food and nutrition security in many African communities. However, the characteristics of habitats and spatial distribution of edible insects is not known and yet it is important for understanding their ecology, planning harvesting and conservation activities in the wild. The edible ground cricket (Hen...
Conference Paper
Onion conditioning and curing is recommended widely in order to cushion onion post- harvest handlers against the adverse effects of product oversupply during the harvesting season followed by off-season short supply. This study, carried out in Mashonaland province of Zimbabwe, was aimed at determining the effect of conditioning and curing methods,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Onion conditioning and curing is recommended widely in order to cushion onion post- harvest handlers against the adverse effects of product oversupply during the harvesting season followed by off-season short supply. This study, carried out at Sholiver Farm in the Mashonaland province of Zimbabwe, was aimed at determining the effect of conditioning...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation agriculture (CA) based on the principles of minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention, and crop rotation has been the focus of intensive research in recent years. A study was carried out to determine the effects of tillage and fertilizer on the population densities of plant-parasitic nematodes in maize. Three tillage regimes, (i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Liriomyza leafminers constitute a serious constraint to production and exportation of vegetables, grain legumes and cut-flowers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In SSA, the most damaging leafminer flies, largely considered as quarantine pests, are Liriomyza huidobrensis(Blanchard), L. sativae (Blanchard) and L. trifolii (Burgess) (Diptera...
Article
Eulepida mashona Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is widely consumed in rural and farming communities ofZimbabwe. Preparation methods before consumption for these insects are variable and have not been documented. Our study hypothesised that cooking for different durations result in different nutritional and bioactive compoundscomposition in insect...
Article
Edible insects are gaining recognition as food with potential of contributing to attainment of household food security. In sub-Saharan Africa, sustainable use of insects as food is threatened by lack of data on host plants and habitatassociations. In addition, lack of nutritional data on most edible insects reduces consumer confidence and limits in...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, there has been multi-agency promotion of entomophagy as an environmentally-friendly source of food for the ever increasing human population especially in the developing countries. However, food quality and safety concerns must first be addressed in this context. We addressed these concerns in the present study using the edible stink bug E...
Article
Full-text available
The study identified the players in the sweet orange value-chain and interviewed them to quantify postharvest losses incurred along the sweet orange value-chain in Rusitu Valley. A sample of 100 farmers in Rusitu Valley was selected using a snow balling sampling technique. A Value-Chain Priority Test was conducted to determine farmers' priorities b...
Article
This work was focusing on bioprospecting for cellulase producing endophytes from the gut of Brachytrupes membranaceus. Identification of bacterial strains that have the capability of efficiently and effectively hydrolyzing the cellulosic macromolecular structure has realized a microbe that is a mesophilic. The microbe was characterized using 16S rD...
Article
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Use of plant compounds in grain protection has shown great potential as an alternative to synthetic insecticides in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated the efficacy of Eucalyptus grandis and Tagetes minuta ground leaf powders as grain protectants against Sitophilus zeamais in stored maize. Effect of leaf powders were evaluated on percent ge...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Resource constraints in Sub Saharan Africa universities necessitate interventions to strengthen quality of teaching to produce qualified agricultural graduates. The objective of this study was to identify opportunities and ways to improve curricula and teaching capacity for agriculture training in Zimbabwean universities. Data were collected from n...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate nutritional and phytochemical composition of Henicus whellani Chopard, a seasonally occurring ground-dwelling cricket consumed in south-eastern Zimbabwe. Insects were sampled from four quadrants (approximately 100 m 2) in one representative site (approximately 3000 m 2) in Bikita District, and were hand-...
Article
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Encosternum delegorguei Spinola (Hemiptera: Tessaratomidae) are consumed as relish and with traditional claims of having medicinal roles in the South-Eastern districts of Zimbabwe. However, very little has been explored scientifically to validate these claims. The current study was conducted to investigate bio-active compound composition and divers...
Article
Encosternum delegorguei Spinola (Hemiptera: Tessaratomidae) are consumed as relish and with traditional claims of having medicinal roles in the SouthEastern districts of Zimbabwe. However, very little has been explored scientifically to validate these claims. The current study was conducted to investigate bio-active compound composition and diversi...
Article
The effect of mesh sieve sizes; 0.84 mm, 1.0 mm and 1.19 mm on alcohol concentration, free reducing sugars profile and total acids produced was determined during opaque beer fermentation. The initial free reducing sugars increased from 7.23 ± 0.1 mmol/ml to 7.52 ± 0.03 mmol/ml and 7.67 ± 0.03 mmol/ml values as the sieve size decreased. Meanwhile, t...
Article
The methanol extract of Encosternum delegorguei was quantitively analyzed through GCMS which had plasma-ionization detector (PID), quartz capillary column ZВ-5 (polydimethylsyloxane, 5 % of phenyl groups), identified and produced the following 18 compounds which were C2-C13 aliphatic hydrocarbons, aldehydes, furanones, aromatic, oxo-alkenals, ester...
Article
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The issue of food losses is of high importance in the efforts to combat hunger, raise income and improve food security in many developing countries. Therefore, there is need to minimise food losses in agri-food supply chains. This study was conducted with the aim to identify causes of mechanical defects in banana fruit supply chain in Zimbabwe and...
Data
Full-text available
Host plant species can affect the behavior and attributes of parasitoids, such as host searching, oviposition, and offspring fitness. In this study, parasitism, host feeding, and sex ratios of Diglyphus isaea (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard), Liriomyza sativae Blanchard, and Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Dipt...
Data
Body size of herbivorous insects may be directly related to host plant characteristics (e.g. nutrition, chemical composition) and positively linked to performance of the herbivore and its parasitoids. Differences in adult body size of Liriomyza huidobrensis, L. sativae and L. trifolii reared on Pisum sativum, Phaseolus vulgaris, Vicia faba and Sola...
Article
Full-text available
Host plant species can affect the behavior and attributes of parasitoids, such as host searching, oviposition, and offspring Þtness. In this study, parasitism, host feeding, and sex ratios of Diglyphus isaea (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard), Liriomyza sativae Blanchard, and Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Dipte...
Article
Agromyzidae (Diptera) is a family with many species of economic importance on agricultural plants. However, many species are attacked by hymenopteran parasitoids which are known to be habitat rather than species specific. In the Afrotropical region, information about agromyzid and parasitoid diversity in different habitats is scattered in literatur...
Article
Full-text available
An experiment was conducted for 20 weeks under float bed system in which nine tobacco seedling growing media mixed in different combinations based on particle size distribution of pine bark and coal rubble were studied. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of these different media combinations on the physical properties of the me...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was designed as Randomized Complete Block with three replicates, which were subjected to six treatments. Tobacco seedlings were grown in trays on float bed with treatments varying in growth media combinations as follows: T1- 50% pine bark and 50% sand (control, farmer's present practice), T2- 100% maize cobs, T3- 100% groundnut sh...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The current special issue presents different facets of research on edible insects in Africa, considering them either as feed for poultry and fish or as food.
Project
Promoting the integrated use of edible insects as food in urban and Peri-urban areas of southern Africa.