The way forward

The threat is real and we need to act fast. This will take several approaches:
  1. Recognition of the problem by farmers and authorities: by the development of educational materials, finding a protocol for detection and 
    future monitoring and putting in policies which enable regional co-operation.
  2. Sensitising the authorities and farmers: e.g. through farmer workshops and visits, mobile clinics, mass media.
  3. Raising awareness about plant disease symptoms and mode of transmission.
  4. Identification of disease hot spots and clean areas for bulking plant materials for framers: by identifying the most affected areas and reinforcing quarantine measures on movement of planting materials, bulk cleaning planting materials for framers in clean areas, advising farmers to collect planting materials from disease free areas, using tissue culture to rehabilitate most preferred planting materials have certification schemes to ensure production of clean planting materials.
  5. Identifying the best vectors in transmitting Napier stunting disease phytoplasma to facilitate screening for resistance.
  6. Inter-cropping
  7. Planting mixed varieties
  8. Fertilising
  9. Cutting frequently
  10. Integrated disease management strategies: these include educating farmers and developing education material on on use of integrated pest and disease management technologies that include:
use of clean planting materials which are also tolerant to pests and diseases
creating 'designated clean zones' where unaffected planting material can be obtained for distribution.
quarantine measures regional corporation
recommending  agronomic practices
Uprooting and replanting
sustainable pest and disease management strategies
Further reading
  • Mulaa, M., 2005. Containing Napier Grass Diseases on farm. Kitale, Kenya: National Agricultural Research Centre.