Ghana’s mango industry could be wiped out completely in the next five years if the Bacterial Black Spot (BBS) disease is not treated as a national agriculture emergency.
Leading fruit processing company, Blue Skies, issued this warning on the back of a severe drop in mango exports to the European Union (EU) market since 2016.
Speaking to JoyBusiness during a business visit by the Ghana Chamber of commerce and Industry, Head of Public Affairs of Blue Skies, Alistair Djimatey warns government must act now or never.
“Last season, almost 70 per cent of mango farmers in the Southern sector lost all their production and it is climbing gradually to the Southern Belt. We believe it will require a lot of resources. We need government support or else this lucrative mango industry could collapse in 5 years,” he stated.
Hitherto, the country was making close to €100,000 from the exports of mangoes every month but this figure has plunged to €10,000 due to the disease.
Already the disease has been reported in Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region. Bacterial Black Spot disease, often referred to as BBS, attacks mango and other trees weakens their branches and causes cankers on fruits and premature fruit drop.
The disease is named after the black spot marks, which develop first on leaves and then spread on fruits.
In 2012, it was identified in the Brong Ahafo Region where it has been reported that about 70% of the total acreage under mango cultivation have been affected. The CSIR-CRI has recommended the use of disease-free seedlings available at the facility.
CSIR-CRI says manual preventive measures like good hygiene, proper pruning of affected branches and use of copper-based fungicides are appropriate management strategies.