Diseases destroy crops in Laag farmsPhoto | Mid ka mid ah beeralleyda Laag/Sawir/Faadumo Siciid
Crop production in Laag town 30 km south of Bosasso has been devastated by diseases affecting vegetables and dates.
Local farmer Ahmed Muse said the diseases had taken hold over the past six years.
“The diseases mostly affect the roots of vegetable and date plants, then the whole plant dies. Tomatoes and onions have been destroyed,” he said.
Local farmers call the disease ‘Magafe,’ meaning ‘hits its target.’ Most families are grappling with reduced income as a result of low production from their farms.
Saado Mohamud Ahmed said she used to get up to $1,000 from sales of her produce before the diseases hit their farms.
Local vegetable markets in Bari now rely on the southern regions for their supplies.
Mohamed Nur Nageeye, a Puntland agricultural officer, said the diseases were caused by the use of sub-standard fertilizers.
He advised the farmers to use organic fertilizers which can be prepared locally by mixing extracts from neem, lemons and onion peelings and spraying the liquid on the crops in the morning and evening. Nageeye advised farmers to practise crop rotation as an effective way of fighting crop diseases.