ABU Institute — We’re Addressing Outbreak Of New Okra Disease

The  National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) detected a new virus disease attacking Okra plants across the country resulting in more than 70 per cent loss of okra plants.

05:12 PM WAT, Sun September 17, 2023

The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria said it has obtained samples and commenced investigations on the new virus disease attacking Okra plants across the country.

The Executive Director of the institute, Prof. Mohammed-Faguji Ishiyaku, made this known in an interview with reporters on Sunday in Zaria.

Ishiyaku said that the samples were being cultured at the institute’s laboratories with a view to identifying the real virus and insect involved in the transmission of the disease.

Ishiyaku revealed that on receipt of the report, the institute sent its scientist round to assess the situation in Kaduna State and other places.

“ The disease is an epidemic because it is prevalent across the country and the immediate assessment based on our scientists’ expertise also confirmed the strange disease to be a viral infection.

“From scientific findings, such viral disease was transmitted by some insects (vectors); unfortunately unlike bacterial or fungal disease viral infections don’t have chemical control measures,’’ he said.

The executive director said the interim solution was to spray the okra field with insecticides that would control the insects such that the disease would not spread to additional fields.

Ishiyaku however said that the fruits produced by these infected okra are healthy for consumption.

He advised the farmers to clean their fields with chemicals before the next farming season and obtain their seeds from healthy sources.