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Yam Rust Disease Identified In Saint Lucia

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development wishes to alert farmers and the public about a recently identified disease affecting yams.

This is known as Yam Rust and is caused by a fungal pathogen.

The Ministry of Agriculture recognizes the critical significance of yams as a staple tuber in our diet and its substantial contribution to farmers as a year-round cash crop supporting their livelihoods.

Yam Rust has been identified in various agricultural regions across the island. Rigorous laboratory testing has confirmed the existence of this disease.

The affected yam varieties include White, Yellow, and Portuguese yams. It is imperative for farmers to consistently monitor their crops for any signs of infection.

Early detection is crucial, and prompt corrective action is necessary to curtail the further spread of the disease.

The Ministry of Agriculture is actively collaborating with the farming community and our Agricultural Extension Division to implement effective control measures against Yam Rust.

Farmers are strongly advised against moving planting materials from one location to another, as this practice significantly contributes to the transmission of the disease between farms.

Travelers likewise are encouraged to avoid the illegal importation of yams and other planting material without the prequisite permission or guidance.

In the upcoming weeks, the Ministry of Agriculture Crop Protection Unit will continue working in tandem with the Agriculture Extension Unit to provide guidance and advice to farmers on essential prevention and control measures.

Furthermore, the Research Department will initiate a survey starting Monday, January 29, 2024, to assess the prevalence and extent of this disease across the entire island.

The survey will provide the opportunity to understand the disease cycle within our ecosystem in order to provide disease management guidance to farmers.

SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development

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5 COMMENTS

  1. all i have to say, the head line photo of the yam didn’t show the infection of the rust when the yam is been cut so that people would have an idea wat it is, this rust has always been their according to me when the yam is been cut u see a stain like patch inside the yam what i normally do is to cut that part off. i understand the awareness moving forward is to control

  2. Only now? After a whole year. Stop moving planting materials from one area to another? So if a farmer wants to buy plants don’t sell to them. Ministry of Agriculture needs to wake up.

  3. they are introducing too much chemicals in the dirt so what you expect. we don’t want to give our food time to grow as it should we greedy its fast money.

  4. “Rigorous laboratory testing has confirmed the existence of this disease” Which Agriculture Laboratory you have here in St. Lucia that carry out such test? By not naming it so other farmers can take their produce to test if they notice infected crops how beneficial is it to them? Is the MOA hiding this lab? Is it that one at UNION which is vastly under resource and unable to carry proper testing? “Rigorous” is that the best word you choose to use? lmao you people is something. Where does the Rust disease come from or its origin? Wouldn’t it be more informative to say its origin and potentially what to look out for. Farmers apply all sorts of artificial fertilizer in a bid to get more yield, better fruit and are totally illiterate about side effects similar to pharmaceutical drugs. E.g. Most doctors will prescribe a medication for you, then they will say don’t consume alcohol with it or avoid spicy food. It is similar farmers can apply fertilizer but will you apply it when it is raining or when the soil is dry without any moisture? Certain root food products may need or not need any at all, yam and dasheen will more need organic fertilizer and not synthetic, soil Ph is important. I mean realistically, Guyana have a University for agriculture, the Jamaicans, Bajans and Trinidadian present themselves there to learn about so many things, why can’t the Government sponsor some farmers to go there on a scholar ship or something. Taiwan uses a lot of AI in their crops why are we clinging to that formula… like seriously!

  5. I AGREE STOP INTRODUCING ALL KINDS OF CHEMICALS TO OUR FOOD, LET THEM GROW ON THEIR OWN, BACK IN THE DAY YAMS AND OTHER CROPS GREW WITH SUN WATER LITTLE FERTILIZER, AND FARMERS LOVE. NOW CHEMICALS ARE A MUST TO FORCE THEM TO GROW. SO RUST AND OTHER FUNCAL PATHOGEN WILL SHOW ITS UGLY HEAD PUTTING A STRAIN ON THE FARMERS.

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