Taro leaf blight in Cameroon?

The wires have been humming lately about a new disease cutting a swathe through Cameroon’s taro crop. It has been in the local news and on ProMed, as “undiagnosed disease.” There’s a discussion about it on PestNet,1 and some experts think it may be taro leaf blight. There’s a lot of experience on TLB — and resistant varieties — in the Pacific now. They were acquired the hard way, through urgent necessity. Will they be called on to help out in Cameroon?

  1. We’ve blogged about the great resource that is PestNet before. []

23 Replies to “Taro leaf blight in Cameroon?”

  1. This is really a difficult situation for Ibo cocco producers and achu eaters in Cameroon. Our investigation, confirmed by CABI showed that P. colocassiae is the agent responsible in Cameroon from lab. analysis and rapid mount. At this moment the alarm has been calm down with the ideas that the infected tubers were killing people. But we are in the process of having more information on the situation with the help from CABI/Global Plant Clinic, UK. More information will come out as soon as available. Stay tuned! Zack

  2. The cocoyam (taro) grown in Nigeria was severely infected by the leaf blight causing almost 100% destruction on both lowland and upland crops. Early sown crops were also diseased and corms/tubers from such crops had poor taste and storability. Could climate change be a contributory factor to this fast spreading destructive disease out break? Solution is urgently needed.

    1. Kindly read this article
      Climate change and sustainable management of taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) leaf blight in Cameroon
      April 2016Revue Scientifique et Technique ForĂȘt et Environnement du Bassin du Congo
      DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.48384

  3. Has the taro leaf blight disease been confirmed in Nigeria? Did the outbreak in Cameroon precede that in Nigeria? Resistant germplasm is available.

    1. Climate change and sustainable management of taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) leaf blight in Cameroon
      April 2016Revue Scientifique et Technique ForĂȘt et Environnement du Bassin du Congo
      DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.48384

  4. Please what has been the finding of CABI/ Global plant clinic in respect to this coocyam leaf blight/ taro leaf blight? I am also interested in the result /findings of other scientists working on this disease

  5. Taro blight (P. colocassiae) is still a threat to farmers and “Achu” and “Ekwan” consummers in Cameroon. In the Western Highlands (WHL) and South West regions, that crop is disappearing at an alarming rate.
    Eating habit is being shifted to rice or maize or others comodities. At this moment, after the primary works we carried with CABI, future activities are slow to come. If nothing is done, in the next few years, that crop will joint cowpea (for the WHL) in a closed cupboard. Can you contribute? Please contact us.

    1. Dear Zack and Afiniki

      I am writing to you as I am involved in a global edible aroid project. It concerns Colocasia, your Achu, and also Xanthosoma. There are 16 countries and four research institutes involved. Please see the website http://www.ediblearoids.org. The project goes by the name of INEA, International Network for …… and the idea behind it is to give farmers broader diversity of these crops in order to strengthen food security. It was devised before the outbreak of taro leaf blight in West Africa. However, in the case of West Africa taro leaf blight is the priority. Varieties with resistance to taro leaf blight are being introduced. These varieties have been bred for resistance to the disease in the Pacific or they are selections from south Asia. After careful testing to show that they were free of pests and diseases they have been sent to Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. They will be tested in those countries by researchers and farmers, and the best will be crossed with local varieties.
      I have been trying to contact Cameroon for months to get the country to join the network. I have suggested how they might obtain funds to come to our meetings. I can tell you more if you would like to write to me.
      My message is that there is help available, and contacting the ediblearoids team is the best way of getting it.

  6. Hello Jackson,

    I am also worried about the situation of taro in Cameroon especially in the South West Region.

    Have the tests of varieties with resistance to Taro Leaf Blight been successful?

    We shall need these varieties for tests in Cameroon. Please do well to link us up.

  7. It is a sad situation owing to the fact that this a a staple food for Cameroonians and most of west africa.
    I`m studying horticulture at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town South Africa.
    I would be conducting a research to identify plants with fungicidal properties that might be used to control Phytophthora colocasiae naturally.
    I hope and pray some help comes out of it for us Cameroonians.

  8. I want to have a statistic information in cameroon about taro leaf blight.I am find the extract plant which inhibate the growth of phytophthora colocasiae mycelium

    1. Hi Franck,
      I accept what plant extracts can do because such trials have been conducted in our laboratory here in Dschang. I tried to look at information that the farmer can apply today. I have tried it for many years before informing the public.

      1. since 2010 that this leaf blight hit cameroon till date nothing has been done by the agriculture and research centers to help the farmers and the starving population

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