Maize is an important strategic crop which is grown by millions of farmers in the SADC region as both a food crop and a cash crop. This staple food of most countries in the SADC region is threatened by the occurrence of the Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) which has been reported in East Africa. The disease was first reported in Kenya, (South Rift Valley – Bomet and Naivasha districts) in September 2011, although its extent at that point suggested that the disease had been present for some time. MLND has also spread rapidly into Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan (FAO, 2013).
Recent reports indicate high possibilities of this disease spreading to the Southern African countries which if not contained could result in devastation and food insecurity to the SADC region from possible crop failure and reduced yields given the role of maize as the main staple crop for many countries in the region. Maintaining vigilance and taking proactive action by all key stakeholders is necessary to manage this threat
CCARDESA (2017). Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND).