Yam diseases in Northern Ghana

Pages 534-540

S.K. Nutsugah, F.K. Tsigbey, J. Peters and C. Osei

ABSTRACT

There is paucity of information on the primary yam pathogens causing economic losses of yam in northern Ghana. Farmers’ fields in some of the major yam-growing areas of the region were surveyed during 1996 rainy season using a participatory rural appraisal approach to obtain baseline information on yam disease and pests. A field work was later designed to investigate the relationship between disease status of yam vines growing in the field and subsequent post-harvest diseases and pests during 1997 rainy season. Farmers identified anthracnose, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides as the most important biotic constraint to yam production. Anthracnose was found in over 70% of all yam foliage randomly sampled during the surveys. Viral diseases were also present in 22% of yams grown in the surveyed area. Scutellonema bradys, yam nematode was frequently isolated from tuber tissues in the laboratory. The fungicide and nematicide treatment effect in the field trial could restore yields in high disease seed to levels found in low disease seed.

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