New cases of leading maize disease Maize lethal necrosis have been reduced in Africa

3 January 2019

Interventions such as disease-free seeds and field hygiene have helped cut new cases of maize lethal necrosis in Sub-Saharan Africa, scientists say.  Malawi has been free of the disease for the past three years and new cases of the disease in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania have reduced from 65 per cent, 35 per cent and 43 per cent to about 29 per cent, 25 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively from 2015 to 2018. But there is no room for complacency as there appear to be new cases in Eastern Uganda in areas that border Kenya.

Maize lethal necrosis, a disease caused by a set of viruses, results in up to 100 per cent yield losses, thus having a devastating impact on food security and smallholders’ incomes in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. Read more at SciDev.Net

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