Cassava Mosaic Disease in DRC
Cassava is the food crop consumed by more than 70% of the population in DRC. However,
in early 1990, the production of cassava has drastically reduced, thus, causing
food insecurity and general famine in many eastern parts of DRC. Amongst causes
reported to be at the basis of this reduction, the Cassava Mosaic Disease turned
out to be the largest and most harmful cause of losses of crop between 5% and 95%.
The disease is prevailing every where across DRC. However, this prevalence varies
from province to province. According to surveys conducted by INERA, the average
country incidence varies between 59.6% and 100%, but with an alarming severity.
The incidence of the disease was lower in Katanga (59, 6% sick plants) and in Northern
Kasai (63%); while it was maximum (100%) for the case of most of the other provinces.
This difference of CMD incidence may be due to the difference in varieties used,
as well as to various virus strains examined in the visited areas.
Currently, the problems that facing the DRC population as regards CMD include:
- The lack of CMD resistant varieties for their fields;
- The lack of supervision in the management of CMD; and
- Ignorance of the package of improved agricultural techniques for cassava.