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Deputy Minister Calls for Calm among Mango Farmers in Wake of BBS Attacks

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture, Hon. George Oduro has encouraged mango farmers across the country to remain calm as the ministry is employing all necessary interventions to combat the bacterial black sport (BBS) disease which is devastating mango farmers across the country.

There is a looming epidemic of Bacterial Black Spot disease in Ghana, according to leading scientists.

Already the disease has been reported in some farms in Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo in the eastern region, Shai Osudoku in the Greater Accra region and Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Bacterial Black Spot disease, often referred to as BBS, attacks mango and other trees, weakens their branches and causes cankers on fruits and premature fruit drop.

The deputy minister in an interview with host of Rite FM’s morning show, Captain Adabugar said the ministry was currently engaging the services of some researchers to find a solution to the problem.

“The Ministry of Food and Agric is collaborating with some researchers which have been seriously for the past two (2) months to find a lasting solution to the Black Bacterial Spot (BBS) that is that has destroyed the chunk of mango plantations in some areas,” he said.

He disclosed that the ministry particularly appreciated the enormity of the BBS scourge after the Kintampo Mango Farmers Association came to the ministry to register their plight.

This was after they have detected the presence of the disease in their mango farms, and there is the need for the ministry to quickly intervene.

The deputy minister was also emphatic that the ministry of agriculture is deeply concerned about the disease and expressed MOFA’s commitment to alleviating the damage caused mango farmers.

Honourable Oduro who compared the situation of the BBS to pests said the BBS is a difficult disease to fight or control.

“Unlike pests, fighting the bacterial black spot is not easy and the ministry is approaching this scourge the same way it approached the fall army worm invasion,” he added.

He was also hopeful that the research findings and the necessary recommendations will be made available as soon as research works have been concluded to find a lasting solution to the outbreak.

The disease is named after the black spot marks, which develop first on leaves and then spread on fruits.

Once the disease breaks out in an area, it spreads very fast and can destroy an entire mango plantation.

In Ghana, the disease was first detected in Tamale in 2010. Since then, the disease has been spreading southwards.

The disease then continued its southward journey and eventually reached the three districts in 2015.

Mango farmers say government’s effort to get the disease under control is very critical and have appealed for subsidization of the chemicals used for fighting the disease.

Source, Prince Paul Amuzu/www.ritefmonline.org/princeamuzu667@gmail.com

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