Agriculture Department on high alert, mystery disease threatens mango crops

The Plant Quarantine Unit in the Agriculture Department is working diligently to get to the root of an, as yet, undetermined disease that is impacting mango trees across the country.

On Wednesday, the department acknowledged that it understood the “significant impact this issue has on local agriculture” and was working to identify the disease and develop a plan of action to combat it.

“Our team of plant health experts has been working diligently to diagnose the disease affecting the mango trees. Initial assessments indicate that the symptoms are consistent with anthracnose, a fungal disease that can severely impact mango fruit production and quality. However, the exact cause of the disease is currently unknown, and experts are actively investigating its origin, transmission, and potential control measures.

“Initial assessments suggest that the disease may be caused by a combination of environmental factors, pathogens, and possibly new strains of pests. Farmers are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases of the disease to their local agricultural authorities for further investigation,” the Agriculture Department said.

Once the disease is confirmed, the department outlined the steps that will immediately be implemented to address it. 

This plan will involve a multi-pronged approach, including:

• Conducting extensive surveys to determine the extent of the disease’s spread

• Implementing targeted fungicide applications to control the fungal pathogen

• Providing guidance and support to local mango growers on best management practices

• Exploring long-term solutions, such as the introduction of disease-resistant mango varieties.

Until this time, authorities have outlined precautionary measures that should be taken to mitigate the spread of the disease.

These include:

– Quarantine Measures: Quarantine infected areas to prevent the spread of the disease to unaffected areas.

–Pruning affected areas: Prune the tree to remove diseased twigs and branches and open up the canopy for better air circulation and light penetration.

– Sanitation Practices: Implement strict sanitation practices to reduce the transmission of pathogens through contaminated tools, equipment, and plant materials.

–Plant Monitoring: Regularly monitor mango trees for signs and symptoms of the disease and take appropriate action if detected.

–Research and Development: Invest in research and development efforts to better understand the disease and develop effective control strategies.


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