Luapula Province Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) Regional Coordinator, Abel Mwape has disclosed that Mosaic Virus, a virus that effects cassava tubers has broken out in Chipili District, affecting over 400 hectares of cassava.
Mr. Mwape says the outbreak of the Mosaic virus has been compounded by the outbreak of terminates which are affecting cassava posing fears of devastating effects to the farmers.
He said there is fear that the situation can be worse if nothing is done adding that the virus has the potential of completely destroying the crop.
In an interview with ZANIS, in Mansa today Mr. Mwape said the DMMU is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to see how best to address the situation.
“As you may be aware that cassava is one of the major crops grown in the Province, most people depend on it for their livelihoods so we just have to find ways of addressing the problem if we are to avoid any hunger outbreak,” Mr Mwape said.
Mr. Mwape further adds that DMMU in Luapula Province has already written to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in Lusaka requesting for chemicals which can be used to disinfect all the affected fields before the outbreak spreads further.
He points out that the Unit will also ensure that it provides new cassava cuttings to all the affected farmers for them to replant the crop.
“Efforts are being put in place to address this problem as soon as possible and because once we delay the problem can be worse and more families can be affected,” he explained.
Mr. Mwape has since urged all the affected families not to panic saying government is doing everything possible to address the matter.