Farmers’ knowledge and perception of the dry cassava root rot disease in Brong Ahafo region of Ghana
Cassava root rot disease caused by soil-borne pathogens cause substantial yield loss in cassava production. Recently cassava root rot disease caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae was widespread in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. Seventy cassava farmers were randomly selected from each of the following Districts of the Brong-Ahafo Region: Dormaa East and Sunyani West Districts and the Nkoranza South Municipal. The farmers were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire to obtain information on their knowledge and perception on the cassava root rot disease. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. All the respondents (100%) identified the dark brown fragmented storage root tissue symptom as the final stage of the disease but only 17.1% identified all the symptoms of the disease. Most of the respondents (74.3%) emphasized that cassava root rot disease occur throughout the year but incidence was higher in the rainy season. Only 36.7% indicated that the disease spreads through the soil. Majority (91.4%) reported high rainfall and high temperatures as the cause of the disease; 40% indicated cultivation of susceptible cassava varieties; 60% mentioned delayed harvesting; 41.1% indicated cultivating in waterlogged soils; 6% attributed the disease to glyphosate application; 5.2% indicated high weed density, but none mentioned continuous cropping of cassava as the cause of cassava root rot. Findings reveal that farmers have a fair knowledge of the disease but they lack methods to control the disease. Appropriate cultural practices and disease tolerant varieties need to be adopted to control the cassava root rot disease effectively.