Maize lethal necrosis has spread to Rwanda

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms
Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Credit: Rob Reeder © CABI

Report by Abigail Rumsey, Beatrice Uwumukiza and Bellancila Uzayisenga.

In the past two years, we have reported on the presence of the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease in East African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The disease is also present in South Sudan. The most recent report has been of its spread to the Northern Province of Rwanda. Continue reading

Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease Spreads To Uganda

Maize plants showing Maize Lethal Necrosis disease © CIMMYT via Flickr (License CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Maize plants showing Maize Lethal Necrosis disease © CIMMYT via Flickr (License CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Maize Lethal Necrosis disease, which was first reported in Kenya and Tanzania, has now spread to Uganda, raising concerns for food security in the country. The Ministry of Agriculture has warned that Maize Lethal Necrosis has been reported in districts in eastern Uganda, including Busia and Tororo.

A spokesman for the Agriculture Research Organisation, Robert Anguzo, has said that Ugandan scientists are working in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) to find management solutions to the disease.

More information about the pests and viruses associated with Maize Lethal Necrosis and the management of the disease can be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Continue reading

New Research on Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease in Kenya

Maize showing symptoms of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA license, via Flickr)

Update [March 2013]: More information about the pests and viruses associated with Maize Lethal Necrosis disease can be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

The production of maize, Kenya’s staple food crop, is severely under threat from a fast spreading maize disease known as Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease. The disease is the result of a combination of two different viruses occurring together in the same plant. One virus is Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus (MCMV), which when combined with another virus Sugarcane Mosaic Virus (SCMV) results in the development of MLN disease, leading to serious plant damage. MLN disease was first reported in the Bomet district in Kenya September 2011. To date the highly destructive disease has reduced maize production by as much as 60% in south, central and eastern Kenya. A study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in July 2012 observed that MLN disease has affected more than 16,000 ha of land, with the potential of destroying 80% of maize crop. Continue reading

Maize disease in Kenya no longer a mystery and being controlled

Maize showing symptoms of Maize chlorotic mottle virus © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA license, via Flickr)

Update [March 2013]: More information about the pests and viruses associated with Maize Lethal Necrosis disease can be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

In January this year, ProMed-mail reported an undiagnosed disease of maize that had been destroying farmers’ crops in the Rift Valley of Kenya since the previous September. The Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya swiftly took action to investigate the problem, and at the end of May, the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Dr Sally Kosgei announced their conclusions. Continue reading