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Diseases

Head Smut

It is caused by Ustilago kamerunensis
Infected plants have a characteristic precocious flowering and smutted heads.

head-smuts

The infected stems harden and shoot to premature flowering, becoming thin and fibrous rather than normal thick and juicy. 

Emerging plant stems then become smaller and the total dry matter of the affected crop is drastically reduced 

After 2-3 cuttings, the entire stool dries leading to a catastrophic decline in biomass.

Management or Control

  • Use of disease resistant varieties (Kak I, Kak II & Kak III)
  • Obtain planting materials from crops free from the disease preferably at KARI centers.
  • Improvement heath of the crop by applying manure and fertilizer.
  • Avoid using manure from livestock fed on smut infected plants
  • Observe routine agronomic measures  

Napier Stunting Disease

A new disease that was first observed in Western Kenya in the mid 1990’s in Kanduyi Division. The disease has rapidly spread to other parts mainly the sugarcane growing areas.

Disease characterized by yellowing of leaves, tiny leaves, shortening of internodes, proliferation of tillers, decline of vigour, stunting and death of plant.

Spread of the disease is caused by leaf and plant hoppers.

Management of disease spread

  • Use of clean planting materials.
  • Uprooting and burning of affected materials.
  • Utilization of alternative fodder crops and pastures. 

Snow Mould Fungal Disease

 It is fungal disease that causes white mould on attacked leaves and stems of most Napier grass varieties.fungal-disease

It is caused by Beniowskia sphaeroidea 

Clone 13 developed from French Cameroon is resistant to the snow mould fungal diseases.

Affected Napier grass do not lose the vigour of the plants and feeding livestock on the diseased leaves has no adverse effect

Management or Control

  • Use of disease resistant varieties (Clone 13)
  • Obtain planting materials from crops free from the disease preferably at KARI centers.
  • Improvement heath of the crop by applying manure and fertilizer.
  • Avoid using manure from livestock fed on smut infected plants.
  • Observe routine agronomic measures 
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