For production and use of clean certified MCMV disease free maize seeds
Maize Lethal Necrosis disease (MLND) is a key regional and transboundary challenge that continues to bring havoc to farmers’ maize grain harvest and threatens food security in the eastern African region. It causes yield loses of up to 100% and has been registered as a threat to food security in the region. MLND is caused by the co-infection of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus (MCMV) and any of the Potyviruses infecting cereals, especially Sugarcane Mosaic Virus (SCMV). The disease was reported in Kenya in September 2011, and later in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
MLN pathogens can be transmitted by insect vectors and also through contaminated seed. Some developed countries have managed the disease through strategies that include combining tolerant varieties, crop rotation, and having maize free seasons to reduce the insect vector pressure that transmits the disease. However, in eastern Africa, the epidemic is aggravated by little access to MLN tolerant maize varieties by farmers and year-round cultivation of maize, allowing transmission via insect vectors, among others.
AATF and AGRA are co-leading efforts towards supporting the commercial seed sector in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia in production of MCMV-free maize seed, as well as promoting use of certified seeds by farmers in respective countries.
The Project is coordinated by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), under the USAID-funded MLN Diagnostics and Management Project.
“If the industry does not get systematic and standardized scientific steps and operating procedures, decisions on control and management of MLN will be subjective.”
Erick Tegei, Quality Assurance Manager, Kenya Seed Company
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), one of the original funders of AATF, supports the Nitrogen-Use Efficient, Water-Use Efficient, Salt-Tolerant Rice Project; Pod-Borer Resistant Cowpea Project; and the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project. USAID supports the MLN Diagnostics and Management Project through CIMMYT. USAID also supported the Striga Control in Maize project as part of the US government’s Feed the Future initiative.
Spread of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus (MCMV) controlled especially in MLN-endemic countries of Eastern Africa.
MCMV prevented from entering non-endemic countries especially in Southern Africa
Support the commercial seed sector in MLN-endemic countries in producing MCMV-free commercial seed and Promote the use of clean certified hybrid seed by farmers.
Level of uptake and use of MLN Management SOPs by seed companies engaged
Number of seed companies engaged in MLN management and MCMV free seed production activities in eastern…
Number of maize seed out-growers engaged in MCMV-free seed production trainings
Number of farmers engaged through field days and trainings on MLN management and awareness
Maize lethal necrosis (MLN): Efforts toward containing the spread and impact of a devastating transboundary disease in sub-Saharan AfricaDownload Resource file
SOPS – MLN disease portalDownload Resource file
1. Technical Manual on MLN Management: Developed in collaboration with partners; awaiting publishing.
2. Book Chapter on Emerging Crop Diseases in collaboration with the University of Cambridge: Published by the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and has already been copyedited. Currently at the printer.
3. 2 Manuscripts awaiting review and publishing. Data was analysed from ODK platforms, analysed and manuscripts drafted.