Lethal yellowing of coconut palms affects 110,000 hectares in Zambézia province, Mozambique

3 September 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 3 Sept – Lethal yellowing disease of coconut palms in Mozambique’s Zambézia province is affecting the survival of residents in some of the province’s districts, Mozambican newspaper O País reported.

Citing figures from the Zambézia agricultural authorities, the paper said that an area of 110,000 hectares of coconut palms was affected by the disease, with a level of infestation of between 22 and 28 percent of the total area.

The paper added that over 70,000 diseased palms had been cut down and replaced by over 100,000 saplings.

According to Luís Tomo, of the Zambézia provincial government, the new palms seem to be resistant to the disease, particularly the variety that was imported from the Ivory Coast.

Last year the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Moçambique, the most important aid programme of the United States federal government, provided US$17.4 million to fight the disease over five years.

The paper added that 15 percent of the Zambézia population was dependent on coconut palms for their survival. (macauhub)