Nelly Bassily | May 31, 2010
The incidence of Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) has risen sharply in Uganda recently. It has also been found in neighbouring countries, and higher than 1000 metres above sea level, where it was previously thought that it would not flourish. It appears that the problem is spreading. With many people in east and southern Africa dependent on cassava, it is potentially a big issue, and a threat to regional food security.
CBSD is spread by the whitefly. It is also spread when diseased cuttings are planted.
-More information on the disease can be found here: http://www.cassavabiz.org/production/virus02.htm.
-Agfax recently produced a radio script about CBSD: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=282.
-Here is a previous FRW article about how a farmer recovered from cassava mosaic disease: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/12/01/burundi-farmers-revive-cassava-with-help-of-disease-free-cuttings-un-food-and-agriculture-organization/
Farm Radio International has published many scripts about growing, storing, and processing cassava, including:
-“Plant high quality cassava cuttings” (Package 37, Script 1, July 1995)
-“Farmers experiment and discover: You can store cassava” (Package 58, Script 9, January 2001)
You may wish to host a call-in program and invite people to share their experiences. Here are some questions to get you started:
-Are farmers aware of Cassava Brown Streak Disease?
-What steps do farmers take to protect their cassava fields from disease?
-If you broadcast to an area that has been affected by either Cassava Mosaic Disease or Cassava Brown Streak Disease, how has this affected families and farming?
-Are farmers able to find clean planting materials?
-What alternative crops are farmers planting?