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Cassava Mosaic Disease in Uganda
Cassava Mosaic Disease first appeared in Uganda in mid 1980s. This lead to virtual elimination of nearly all the existing varieties and land races; a drastic decline in cassava production and food shortages and famine- related deaths especially in Eastern and Northern Uganda. The response to CMD by NARO has involved the use of 5 strategies:
  1. Development of the National Network of Cassava Workers (NANEC)
  2. Mobilizing, sensitizing, training extension, NGO staff, farmers and other stakeholders on CMD control.
  3. Packaging and deployment of phyto- sanitary methods: clean planting materials, destruction of infected plants, community policing etc.
  4. Research & Technology development
    • CMD epidemiology & vector studies
    • Epidemic causes and virus etiology
    • Monitoring changes in the epidemic
    • Development of resistant varieties
    • Integrated management of CMD
  5. Massive multiplication and dissemination of resistant varieties throughout the country.

Between 1997-2006 a number of cassava multiplication and dissemination projects have been initiated. These have included just to mention but a few: PL480 a USAID funded project; FAO funded project ; World bank funded project; OFDA CMD project phase 1&2; Gatsby Foundation / NARO CMD project; World Food program & CRS and World Vision USAID funded project. The recent emergence of the Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is also presenting a new challenge to the fight against CMD. About 20 districts are affected by the new CBSD with yield losses of up to 100% being registered. Most of the CMD resistant varieties have succumbed to CBSD except two varieties that appear resistant 00067 (Akena) and 2961. The districts in central Uganda of Mukono and Kayunga have been the origin of CMD and CBSD. These same areas have also been among the first to report the presence of BXW. These are major banana growing areas and BXW is beginning to wipe out banana, which is a major staple in these areas. Under normal circumstances of crop loss, resulting from drought or pests and diseases, cassava traditionally represents a “back-up” and provides farming communities with an assurance of food security. Severe CMD pandemic takes this insurance policy away from farmers leaving them in a very vulnerable situation.

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