Bacterial Black Spot Attacks Mango Industry
Bacterial Black Spot (BBS) disease is dealing a hefty blow to Ghana's mango industry.
According to Blue Skies, a leading fruit processing company, if the situation is not treated as a national agriculture emergency, the mango industry would collapse in the next five years.
The company issued the warning on the back of a severe drop in mango exports to the European Union (EU) market since 2016.
Head of Public Affairs at Blue Skies, Alistair Djimatey, who disclosed this to Joy Business recently during a business visit by the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged Government to act without delay.
“Last season, almost 70 per cent of mango farmers in the Southern sector lost all their production and it is climbing gradually to the Southern Belt. We believe it will require a lot of resources. We need government support or else this lucrative mango industry could collapse in five years,” he stated.
Hitherto, the country was making close to €100,000 from the exports of mangoes every month but this figure has plunged to €10,000 due to the disease.
Already the disease has been reported in Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region. Bacterial Black Spot disease, often referred to as BBS, attacks mango and other trees, weakens their branches and causes cankers on fruits and premature fruit drop.
The disease is named after the black spot marks, which develop first on leaves and then spread on fruits.
In 2012, it was identified in the Brong Ahafo Region where it has been reported that about 70% of the total acreage under mango cultivation have been affected.
The CSIR-CRI has recommended the use of disease-free seedlings available at the facility. It also recommended manual preventive measures like good hygiene, proper pruning of affected branches and the use of copper-based fungicides to manage the situation.