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Enugu trains 51 farmers on cassava disease symptoms, prevention

By Ojugbele Omotunde

The Enugu State Government has trained 51 farmers on identifying and preventing cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), a devastating disease that affects cassava root production and quality, rendering susceptible varieties unusable over nine months.

The training took place on Wednesday with participants drawn from the 17 Local Government Areas in the state, including farmers, Extension Agencies, Subject Matter Experts, and Zonal Extension Managers.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and lndustrialization, Patrick Ubru, who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Victor Ngwu, highlighted the seriousness of the disease.

According to the commissioner, the disease currently affects 70% to 100% of cassava tuber failure and is primarily found in East and Central Africa with a westward spread to West Africa.

He added that while they are trying to disseminate knowledge to rural areas, participants need to pay attention and ask questions.

The Director of Agriculture, Mathew Ugwuona, explained that the CBSD, a cassava mosaic disease, has symptoms like leaf yellowing, rot on the tuber and that it can spread through planting stems from diseased cassava plants and whiteflies.

He added that to prevent it, cassava stems should be bought from certified producers, regular check farms, and practicing good field sanitation.


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