Pests and diseases are the major reasons why many agribusinesses fail. They increase the loss of cassava which should have contributed to your overall profit.
The major pests and diseases of cassava are:
1. Thrips and Mites:
Can be controlled using a recommended miticide and Insect Growth Regulators.
These pests are prevalent during dry periods and decreases as rainfall increases.
2. African cassava mosaic virus:
The African cassava mosaic virus causes the leaves of the cassava plant to wither.
When such withering occurs, it limits the growth of the root. The best control measure is to plant resistant varieties.
3. Cassava mealybug:
This causes a reduction in inter-node length of cassava stem. This pest can cause up to 80% crop loss, which is extremely detrimental to the production of subsistence farmers.
Some insects affect the plant directly. For instance, locusts feed on cassava leaves.
Ants and termites eat up cassava stems as soon as they are planted, or later in the season; therefore destroying whole plants.
Others affect the plant indirectly by the transferring virus into the plant. Use recommended insecticides and Insect Growth Regulators to control insects.
5. Herbivorous Animals:
Grass-cutters, pigs, goats, and sheep frequently expose and eat up roots in the soil. The damage to the roots can provide an entry for the microorganisms that cause roots to rot.
To prevent this, Keep the farm and its surroundings weed free. Use traps and poisoned grains to kill them or wire mesh fencing to prevent them from entering your field.
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