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Nigeria: Late blight ravaging potato crops

Stakeholders, including over 300 farmers from Plateau state’s eight local government areas producing potatoes in commercial quantity, last week met in Jos, the State capital, to discuss possible solutions to the dreaded potato blight disease currently ravaging farmlands in the State. The Daily Trust reports that potato blight had in 2014 destroyed almost 1,000 hectares of potato farmlands and experts say the rate of destruction has almost doubled this year in a state described as the number one potato producer in Nigeria. The event which was organised by Vicampro, a Plateau-based potato production, storage and processing company. Close to 70 per cent of the major potato farmers in Plateau State were at the workshop. Speaking on how to prevent phytophtera infrestance, the oomycete that causes potato blight, Ludo Wentholt, the Chief Operating Officer of Vicampro, said high humidity and temperature stimulates the growth of blight, making the disease more severe in the rainy season. The Managing Director, Vicampro, Michael Agbogbo said the problem of potato blight is severe and must be tackled head on. Source: The Daily Trust

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