St Kitts faces disease outbreak affecting mango trees

June 4, 2024  -Agricultural officials in St Kitts are responding to an emerging crisis as a disease affects mango trees across the twin-island federation.

The Plant Quarantine Unit of the Department of Agriculture is spearheading efforts to combat the disease, which threatens a vital component of the local agricultural landscape.

Unraveling the cause: A scientific challenge

A dedicated team of plant health experts is engaged in rigorous efforts to diagnose the disease that is impacting mango production.

Initial assessments suggest that the symptoms exhibited by the mango trees are consistent with anthracnose, a destructive fungal disease known for its adverse effects on mango fruit quality and yield.

Despite these findings, the precise origin and nature of the disease remain elusive, prompting an ongoing investigation into its cause, methods of transmission, and possible control strategies.

Vigilance and response: A community effort

The agriculture officials have called on farmers to maintain vigilance and report any unusual symptoms observed in their mango crops.

This proactive approach is crucial for early detection and effective management of the outbreak.

Once cases are confirmed, the Department of Agriculture plans to roll out a comprehensive treatment strategy tailored to curb the spread and mitigate the impact of the disease.

Towards sustainable solutions

The response strategy encompasses a multi-pronged approach aimed at containing and eventually eradicating the disease.

This includes conducting extensive surveys to gauge the extent of the outbreak, applying targeted fungicide treatments, and guiding local mango growers on best management practices.

Furthermore, the plan considers long-term measures such as introducing disease-resistant varieties of mango trees.

In the interim, precautionary steps such as quarantining affected areas and pruning infected parts of trees are recommended to prevent further spread.

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