Why is it a problem?
The disease is spread by insects that feed on maize. The disease causes a severe systematic necrosis, which culminates in the death of the plant. In Kenya, it has resulted in crop losses of between 50 – 90%, with some areas experiencing total loss of yield.
- Severe crop losses
- Negative impact on food security
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
What’s the solution?
Effective control of both of the counterpart plant diseases at seed level can lessen the chances of Maize lethal necrosis disease occurring. Seed inspectors can check for Maize lethal necrosis disease, Maize chlorortic mottle virus and sugarcane mosaic virus in seed farms.
Equally, by monitoring and controlling the transportation of maize crops, the spread of Maize lethal necrosis disease could be controlled. Also, it is possible to breed varieties of maize which are relatively resistant to the diseases that result in Maize lethal necrosis disease.