How important is cassava anthracnose disease?
The cassava anthracnose disease affects the stem of the cassava and can lead to loss or shortages in planting materials. This, moreover, will mean lower productions in cassava. Anthracnose infected fields are likely to give very low yields. Severe outbreaks can result in famine in communities and even countries.
PREVENTION AND CONTROL
Use Resistant Varieties
In areas of high disease incidence, farmers must use anthracnose resistant varieties. To realise high yields, cultivation of disease tolerant or resistant is very important.
Use Healthy Planting Material
The farmer must select healthy stems free of cankers and dieback tissues, as planting materials. When planted cuttings are healthy they sprout well and the young growing ones are vigorous and are likely to escape early infections. If the only available materials are canker bearing, materials must be dipped in recommended fungicides. The fungicides can destroy the disease-causing fungi in minutes.
Practice Good Farm Sanitation
Farmers must destroy infected plants after harvest by burning them to reduce the number of fungal spores and other infective structures that can cause infection in subsequent plants planted on the field.
Destroy Host Range of Causal Organism
Yam, pepper, banana, pawpaw and avocado can also host the fungus that causes cassava anthracnose. Debris of these plants must be destroyed during land preparation before planting cassava.