How farmers can control the disease

The Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease has no cure. Once your maize crop has been affected by the disease, the only option left for the farmer is to cut, put it in a heap in an isolated part of the farm and burn it. Other measures farmers can take are outlined below:

Once your maize is affected you cannot plant another maize crop on the same field for the next two or three seasons to ensure the field is free of all the disease-causing pathogens and viruses.

Farmers in affected areas are advised to plant other crops such as sorghum, millet, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, beans, peas, bananas or any other crop apart frommaize for two to three seasons.

Farmers are advised to do scouting in their maize farms for signs of the disease as indicated above. If they notice a maize plant with any of the symptoms, it should be uprooted, burnt or buried deep in the soil to stop the disease from spreading.

Use of clean certified seed is very important. Farmers using maize seed from unknown sources can easily introduce disease into their farms.

Regular spraying of the maize crop with pesticides and plant extracts is a good practice because pests such as aphids, stem borer, maize beetles and thrips are the main vectors that transfer the disease from one area or farm to the next.

Ensure the maize field is clean and free of any weeds that act as hosts to some of the pests that transfer the disease to the maize.

 Never plant maize that you have harvested as seed again as this will re-introduce the disease into your shamba and spread it.