A photo of affected leaves
Tuesday on 5th October 2021, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board launched an anti-Mango Mealybugs (locally known as Utumatirizi) campaign in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province of Rwanda.
During the campaign, Mango farmers, Cells SEDOs, Sector agronomists, Agriculture facilitators and mentors were trained on Mango Mealybugs control. They were trained on how to control Mango Mealybugs, how to mix Mealybugs killing solutions and better way to spray an affected mango tree among others.
Hakizamungu Leon, a technician in crop protection program advised trainees to wear gloves and safety glasses to protect hands and eyes when mixing or spraying the bug-killing solutions. He further said that while spraying, a farmer should spray on every leaf to make sure that the tree is fully sprayed.
Mealybugs are sucking insects, soft bodied, oval shape and cottony in appearance. They are found on leaves, stems, roots and fruits which are covered like whitish powder. Heavy clustering of mealybugs can be seen under leaf surface giving the appearance of thick mat with waxy secretion.
They excrete copious amount of honeydew that attracts ants and help in development of black sooty mold which inhibits the plants’ ability to manufacture food. Mealybugs infest the plant during flowering season and if the control measures are not taken timely, the crop may be destroyed completely.
The anti-Mealybugs campaign commenced in Gatsibo and then went on in Nyagatare and Kayonza districts and it is expected to take place in Rwamagana, Ngoma, Kigali City and Bugesera District.