Ghana’s mango industry risks collapsing in the next three years if pragmatic steps are not taken to halt the devastation of the Bacterial Black Spot disease on the sector, Agronomist at the Blue Skies Holdings Limited, Mr. Ernest Abloh has said.
According to Mr. Abloh, urgent steps are crucial at this time to check any further onslaught of the disease.
“Ghana’s mango industry in the next two to three years is likely to collapse if lasting solutions are not found to curb the infestation of the BBS,” he cautioned.
Mr. Abloh was speaking on Rite FM’s Agric Forum with host Austin Ofori on the recent invasion of mango farms by the Mango Bacterial Black Spot which has affected both individual farmers and processors at large.
The invasion of the Bacterial Black Spot disease has compelled Blue Skies Holdings Limited to import thousands of tonnes of mango fruits to meet its set target for the season, the Agronomist disclosed.
Mr. Abloh said the company had no option but to import the mango fruits from neighbouring countries to meet the shortfall.
“In other not to fail our customers, the company had to import mango fruits from neighboring countries to meet our set target,” he added.
He said the company just as others affected by the scourge had no options but import the fruits to meet its shortfall.
“As part of our policies drawn for production, measures have been put in place to import mango fruits from other countries to help them meet their market demands,” he said. “Blue Skies for instance has targeted processing of over 4,000 tonnes but had only 2800 tonnes which brought their estimation to about 40%.”
The mango farmers are thus calling for assistance to deal with the devastating disease that is fast destroying their mango farms.
Known as Bacterial Black Spots (BBS), the disease attacks the leaves and the fruits, rendering the fruits bad, thereby causing the farmers a lot in terms of losses.
The disease is widespread in some parts of the country and fast spreading to other mango-producing areas in the country.
Most farmers have no clue as to how to handle the disease and most of them are reportedly considering getting out of mango production and diverting into other crops that are not susceptible to disease.
Most farms are attacked by the disease because there is no local knowledge about its management.
Some of the fruits also get cracked, become rotten and drop from the tree even before they mature for harvesting.
Black scabby spots are formed on the fruit, often with star-shaped cracks within them, and the spots have water-soaked margins.
The mango farmers are thus appealing to the government and the agric-based organizations to assist mango farmers in managing the disease, as it poses a danger to the survival of the sector.
Most of the training extended to farmers have been office based and some of them should be field based to give farmers practical demonstration of the interventions.
Source: Joyce Bedeley/ritefmonline.org/[email protected]
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