Mary Ayaa, the Manager of The Cultural Hub in Gulu City that trades in locally processed mango juice told URN that the strange disease has attacked five mango trees in their gardens, destroying almost all their fruits.
The Fruit Canker disease has destroyed hundreds of mango
trees in Gulu and Nwoya districts. The fungal disease also known as Anthracnose
Canker attacks mango leaves and fruits of both natural and grafted species
whether they are still flowering or mature.
Farmers in both districts say that the disease started
appearing between July and October this year during heavy rains. They say that
the disease has since persisted, attacking young and mature mango fruits, leaves
attacks the leaves, it starts with a small,
dark, angular and then advances to irregular spots before it becomes large. Infections
on the flower appear as small brown or black spots that later enlarge and often
coalesce to cause the death of flowers.
The fungus rapidly spreads on small fruits. On nearly mature
or ripe fruits, black spots coalesce to cover large areas, which may be sunken.
Mary Ayaa, the Manager of The Cultural Hub in Gulu
City that trades in locally processed mango juice told URN that the strange
disease has attacked five mango trees in their gardens, destroying almost all
She explains that the strange disease that started
manifesting this season has since affected almost all fruits on the trees
changing their leaves to white and fruit colour from green to brownish.
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Ayaa, who fears that they will not be able to realize
income from the mangoes this season, calls for intervention from the City`s
entomology department to find strategies of stopping the disease.
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Charles Akena, the administrator of the Northern
Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) in Gulu City also told URN that he has observed with
concerns that for the first time mangoes on the trees in their compound
are rotting away. He says that the
disease has also affected several mango trees in his village in Koch Goma Sub
County in Nwoya district.
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Akena is equally appealing to district authorities
in charge of plant health to interest themselves in the disease least it
affects fruit farmers as well the drive to commercialize fruit farming in the
Acholi Sub Region.
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Christopher Nyeko, a resident of Gulu City also
says that strange green flies are also destroying a number of mango trees
within Pece-Laroo division causing their fruits to wither and dry up.
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Richard Ssejjoba, an Agronomist and Director
Agrithon Agro-Vet in Gulu City says that Fruit Canker is one of the major fruit
diseases, which does not only attack mangoes but other fruits as well. He
explained that the disease is prevalent in cool, humid weather and spread by
gardeners, tools, seeds, and rain.
He, however, says that the disease can be prevented through the adequate spacing of the fruits during planting, maintaining hygiene around the fruit garden, and spraying with curable fungicides in case of infection.
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In fruits, circular, sunken spots or craters are
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Experts also say that the easiest method of avoiding
disease problems is to grow anthracnose-resistant varieties, plant trees under
the full sun where the flowers, leaves, and fruit dry off quickly after
rainfall. They also discourage the farmers from applying irrigation water to
the foliage, flowers, and fruit.