No cassava brown streak diseases detected in Nigeria, West Africa — Report

By Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia |   19 September 2021   |   3:01 am  

cassava production

No outbreak of the Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) has been detected in Nigeria and any West African country in the last six years.

This was disclosed during a one-day ‘Advocacy And Sensitisation Meeting On Cassava Viral Disease Management Through Participatory Surveillance,’ held at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia State by the Central And West African Virus Epidemiology For Food Security (WAVE).

According to the report, the CBSD intensive survey conducted in the last six years sampled 10 West and Central Africa countries — Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Cote D’ Ivoire, Burkina Faso, DRC, Cameroon, Gabon and Sierra Leone.

The meeting had About 27 participants drawn from Abia and Akwa Ibom states’ Ministries of Agriculture, ADPs, Cassava Foundation Seeds Producers and Entrepreneurs, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, and NRCRI among others.

According to the survey, two of the major diseases threatening crops across the countries are Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and CBSD, which can lead to 40 — 70 per cent and 90 – 100 per cent yield losses, respectively.

It was learnt that within the past three years, a total of 1,053 people have benefited from the WAVE training programme, comprising 600 farmers, 140 Extension Workers, 150 Researchers, 20 Ph.D and 103 MSc students.

There were three presentations during the meeting — one by the WAVE Country Director for North West and North East Zone, Prof. Ibrahim Mohammed, who spoke on “Overview of the WAVE Project and status of cassava viral disease in Nigeria”; the second by the Country Director for the South East and South-South Zone, Dr. Chukwuemeka Nkere, on “Participatory Surveillance for suitable management of cassava viral diseases” and the third by Mrs Linda Nwachukwu on  “Demonstration of the Participatory Surveillance Application Plant Village Nuru.”

Earlier, the Executive Director of NRCRI, Prof. Ukpabi Joseph Ukpabi, stressed the need to save cassava from diseases, describing it as a crop that not only provides food and raw materials but also provides direct and indirect employments to billions across the globe.

He noted that while Africa produced 157 million metric tonnes per annum out of the global 277 million, Nigeria that leads in the global output produces over 60 million metric tonnes.

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