FIFTEEN crops that are immune to maize diseases were produced by an agricultural research center in Naivasha, Kenya.
The MLND Research Center, which was established by the International Center for the Advancement of Corn and Wheat in partnership with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), approved resistant genes up to 30 varieties adapted for Africa using molecular marker selection.
Addressing the participants of the CIMMYT Annual Participants Day, Dr. Prasanna Boddupalli, Director of the Global Corn Program of CIMMYT, said that in the past four years there has been no further spread of the disease in South Africa and West Africa.
MLND is a maize viral disease caused by co-infection of the maize chlorotic virus (MCMV) and other viruses, such as the sugar cane mosaic virus. It harms crops, resulting in 100 percent loss and threatens food security in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and other affected countries.
MLND-resistant varieties reinforce farmers against the enormous losses associated with the disease, not only in Kenya, but also around Africa, with the exception of South Africa.
Dr. Boddupalli noted that several manufacturing companies are already implementing voluntary control programs for chlorinating mats and other operational procedures to minimize the risk of seed transfer.
He said that the disease was significantly reduced after the introduction of these resistant cultures, but the disease still persists in some parts of the continent, such as Kenya, Rwanda, but with the adoption of these resistant varieties, the disease will be eliminated.