Malawi farmers unaware of effects of EACMD
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CTA. 1997. Malawi farmers unaware of effects of EACMD. Spore 70. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48804
East African Cassava Mosaic Disease (EACMD) drastically reduces cassava yields and is one of the contributing factors to low cassava yields in Africa. Recommended control measures, involving selecting stakes from symptomless plants followed by early...
East African Cassava Mosaic Disease (EACMD) drastically reduces cassava yields and is one of the contributing factors to low cassava yields in Africa. Recommended control measures, involving selecting stakes from symptomless plants followed by early roguing of plants which show symptoms, are not generally followed in Malawi. It was for this reason that a study was carried out to determine farmers' indigenous knowledge of EACMD in Malawi. The study revealed that most cassava growers in Malawi are women smallholders with landholdings on average of only 0.5 of a hectare. It transpired that, despite the fact that EACMD was reported in neighbouring Tanzania more than a century ago, 92% of all farmers interviewed in the study area in Malawi had no knowledge of the disease. Thus the disease had been prevalent in the farmers' fields for a long time without proper control measures being token, even though some farmers were aware that their cassava was not thriving as it should. The spread of the disease was exacerbated by farmers continuously recycling, and also exchanging, the same planting material. The study concluded that it was imperative to strengthen the links between research, extension and farmers and to raise farmers' awareness of the importance of the disease, particularly its economic significance. Based on a report in: Roots 3 (2) December 1996 pp 4-7 [caption to illustration] Cassava showing symptoms of Africa Cassava Mosaic Disease IITO/SARRNET, c/o Dept. Res. & Training - Temeke PO Box 2066, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania