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Maize Disease Spreads to Uganda

05 April 2013

UGANDA - A deadly maize disease that was first reported in Kenya and Tanzania has spread to Uganda, raising food security concerns.

The Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture warned that Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) had been reported in some districts in eastern Uganda, particularly Busia and Tororo, reports The East African.

The disease can cause up to 100 per cent crop loss. It is suspected to be spread by beetles, thrips and leaf hoppers.

Uganda scientists are working in collaboration with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre [CIMMYT] to find solutions to the disease.

CIMMYT is also working with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) to develop maize varieties that are resistant to the disease. MLN attacks all maize varieties.

Farmers have been advised to practise crop rotation and skip planting maize for at least a year, and not to replant seeds from the previous harvest.

Other measures recommended include weed control, proper use of fertiliser and high quality seeds to boost production.

TheCropSite News Desk

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