Mozambique; diseases

Mozambique loses 40% of crops to pests and diseases

Up to 40% of Mozambican crop produce has been lost to pests and plant diseases since April 2017, the government has said.

Government Spokesperson Ana Comoana said the maize crop has been besieged by fall armyworm, while coconut plantations have been ravaged by yellow-leaf plague.

Banana plantations are reportedly under attack from Panama disease, while most of the tomato crop has been destroyed by the hornworm caterpillar.

“The other plague that deserves special attention and vigilance is the fruit fly, which is found in practically all Mozambican provinces at present,” Comoana said.

Mozambique is also on high alert for the maize lethal necrosis disease, which is rampant in neighbouring Tanzania and other East African countries. Comoana said government is concerned because the pests and diseases were negatively impacting agricultural productivity and national food security.

Also read: Mozambican smallholder farmers besieged by drought, pests and diseases

Among other interventions, the cash-strapped nation is seeking donor funding to set up 80 fixed and 20 mobile clinics that will specialise in the treatment of plant diseases.

The plan also includes disseminating information on the identification and management of plant diseases, as well as production and distribution of healthy plants for restocking purposes.

Also read: Mozambique steps up fight against bovine TB and brucellosis

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