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BBS Scourge: Disease Remains a Big Threat – Dr. Honger

A Research Scientist at the University of Ghana, Dr Joseph Honger has described the current influx of the Black Bacterial Spot (BBS) scourge in some three districts in the lower sector of the country as ‘a very big threat’ to the mango enclaves and the country’s mango industry. He attributes his stand to the outbreak which he described as “not something easy to deal with.”

Dr. Honger made the assertion in an interview with host of Rite FM’s Agric Forum, Austin Ofori Addo on Saturday as part of discussions aimed at addressing the threats posed by the outbreak of the disease in the Yilo Krobo, Lower Manya Krobo and Shai Osudoku districts in the Eastern and Greater Accra regions respectively.

According to Dr. Honger treating the disease as a national disaster will urge stakeholders to gather the necessary efforts to deal with the canker.

“The BBS outbreak must be treated as a national disaster so that much effort can be gathered by the stakeholders and agric industry players to find a solution to the menace which has become a headache to the farmers,” he said.

The research scientist said a ‘cure’ for the disease was yet to be discovered and cautioned farmers to be careful in tackling the disease in order to curb its spread.

“There is no chemical so far prescribed to fight the outbreak and farmers must be cautious in combatting the disease since their mode of multiplying is very fast,” he cautioned.

Dr. Honger said the University of Ghana first heard of this invasion in 2011 in the Northern Region of Ghana and subsequently held what he called a ‘mango round table discussions’ with affected farmers in other affected parts of the country.

He regretted however that farmers did not pay much attention to its threats despite the Mango Round Table Discussion encounter.

He also described the development as a threat to of government’s ‘one district one factory’ aimed at creating jobs and employment opportunities in the country.

Dr. Honger blamed the ‘rapid spread of the disease’ on preventive measures that were not put in place by the farmers in the absence of extension officers.

“The mode of spread of the BBS has become too fast due to measures that were not put in place by the farmers. The mango farmers move mango seeding from one place to other without the supervision of the extension officers and movement from one farm to the other may have contributed to the rapid spread,” he indicated.

Source: Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org

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