Thursday, 12 November 2009

Diseases affecting cassava production

From New Vision, Kampala, Uganda
By Reuben Olita

Diseases have affected the production of the cassava in the East African region.

A training session on cassava virus that ended in Dar es Salaam last Friday heard that for the past 10 years, white flies that cause cassava mosaic disease had increased in the Lake Zone region.

Tanzania’s daily, the Guardian, recently reported that about 80% of cassava in Ukerewe district, Mwanza region, was affected by the disease.

A researcher from the Lake Zone Agriculture Research and Development Institute, Innocent Ndyetabura, said the major diseases that affected cassava in the region were brown streaks and cassava mosaic.

Ndyetabura said cassava growers needed to be sensitised on preventive measures.

A trainer from the International Institute of Tropical Research, James Legg, said the organisation was supporting locally initiated efforts to stop the spread of the diseases in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

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