Corn Necrosis Disease Reported to Have Spread to Uganda

Maize lethal necrosis, a corn disease first found in Kenya in 2011, has spread to Uganda in a possible threat to the country’s food security, plant-disease researcher CABI said.

The disease, which is caused by a double infection of the maize chlorotic mottle virus and the sugarcane mosaic virus, has been reported in eastern Uganda, CABI wrote on its website today, citing the country’s agriculture ministry.

Uganda produces about 2.7 million metric tons of corn a year and exports the grain to South Sudan, Tanzania and Kenya, meaning the disease’s spread could have an impact on other countries, according to Wallingford, England-based CABI. Maize lethal necrosis was found in Kenya’s Rift Valley province in 2011 and 2012 and has also been observed in Tanzania, the researcher said.

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