Dec 28, 2008
Daily Monitor - Kampala,Uganda
Ugandan researchers have developed cassava clones resistant to cassava brown streak disease. The clones developed from 20,000 cassava seeds at the National Crop Resources Research Institute were imported from Tanzania early this year. “So far out of the 116 clones, 15 may be tolerant to the disease,” said Dr Titus Alicai, a cassava scientist at Namulonge Research Centre. (HEALTHY: Researchers have developed cassava clones resistant to cassava brown streak disease. FILE PHOTO)
“Farmers should not start demanding these clones, they need to give us time to study them before we start multiplying them,” he said.
The disease initially reported in two districts in 2004 has spread to over 25 districts, including Arua, Gulu, Apac, Mubende, Hoima, Kasese, Kumi, Busia, Pallisa, Mukono, Wakiso and Luweero.
Dr Alicai has warned farmers and some NGOs against transporting planting materials from the affected districts. He, however, regretted that transportation of planting materials of vegetatively propagated crops like cassava, bananas and sweet potato vines could not be easy to regulate as in the case of livestock.
“In the crop sector, nothing is done that is why the disease initially reported in two districts has rapidly spread in over 25 districts,” he lamented.
Adapted from Africa Science News Service