Cassava Brown Streak Out Break Reported In Busia

1794 Views Busia Uganda, Uganda

In short
Wakasipe is worried about food security in the district and how most farmers would afford to pay school fees for their children as the new school term opens.

Farmers in Busia are counting losses following a reported outbreak of the cassava brown streak disease in the district. Alfred Wakasipe, Busia District Production Officer says a joint survey by his department and that of Agricultural departments shows that the disease is devastating the entire district.
Wakasipe says the viral disease has affected all the Cassava varieties including TME14, TME204, NASE10 and NASE12, which are common in the district. He says this is the first time the cassava brown streak disease is being reported in the district.
He said previously the district only suffered devastations from Cassava Mosaic, which is common across the country. Wakasipe says farmers are now stranded and don't know which Cassava variety to plant the forthcoming planting season.

//Cue in: "The biggest challenge…

Cue out: …for planting."//

He says unlike the destruction by the Cassava Moisac, the brown streak disease has caused a total loss to most of the farmers. He says most of the affected farmers have nothing to harvest.

Wakasipe is worried about food security in the district and how most farmers would afford to pay school fees for their children as the new school term opens. He argues that Cassava is considered one of the most important cash and food crop in Busia.

//Cue in: "Absolutely, the one…
Cue out: …there is no food."//

He explains that a cassava tuber affected by the brown streak disease is mainly constricted, has a browning on the inside while the leaves turn yellow along the veins.

Wakasipe says they have reported the disease outbreak to Agricultural Ministry and the National Agricultural Research Organization in Namulonge for attention.

//Cue in: "We carried a survey…
Cue out: …varieties for multiplications."//

The cassava brown streak virus ranks seventh in the entire work. It spreads through the supply of infected cassava cuttings and insects, which transmit it from one plant to another. A 2011 survey shows that Kayunga, Mukono and Luweero district in central region are most affected by the disease followed by; Kamuli, Pallisa and Busia districts in Eastern and Lira, Pader and Nebbi in Northern Uganda.

Experts at the national Crops Resources Research Institute are still carrying out investigations to find a lasting solution to the disease discovered in Uganda in 2004. The viral disease was initially confined along the East African coast from Mozambique to Mombasa, but was later detected in Central Uganda.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.