Africa

South African potato grower reaching out for help with serious disease problems

Image result for sandveld potatoesPowdery scab, common scab and potato leaf roll virus (PLRV) are serious potato diseases in many countries around the world, and South Africa is no exception. Monique Vlok is a potato grower in the so called Sandveld region in the southwestern part of South Africa, not far from Cape Town. In her area, many potato growers are dealing with an increasing incidence of potato leaf roll virus and powdery scab. “These diseases became more prevalent in our region over the past decade or so, and are nowadays of serious concern for many potato growers in South Africa, leading to serious crop losses and of course economic headaches in many cases,” she says. “Research is ongoing in South Africa as scientists, growers and other stakeholders attempt to find probable solutions, but at this point in time potato farmers are really struggling to deal with these diseases.” Vlok says she will appreciate it much if potato experts, growers or companies from other potato producing countries would kindly take the time to reach out to her to discuss and share possible solutions for these diseases that might work in their countries. Monique Vlok can be reached via email at moniquevlok@yahoo.com