Diseases of Different Crops in Zoba Anseba of Eritrea
Eritrea is a country of North Eastern Africa, areas where sorghum is originated and believed to be the center of its domesticated. The country bordered on the east by the Red Sea, the south by Djibouti and Ethiopia and the north and west by Sudan. It has a land area of 125,000 square kilometers. According to Grando et al., (2010), of the total potential arable land the area under cereal cultivation is estimated as 463,926 hectares (average of 2005-2008).
The major and important field crops in Eritrea are sorghum and pearl millet. In the order of importance by area in Eritrea (average of 2005-2008 with 463,926 hectares) are: sorghum (machala1 56%), pearl millet (bultuk 13%), barley (segem 9%), finger millet (dagusha 6%), tef (tef 6%), maize (offun 5%), wheat (sernay 4%) and hanfets (mixture of barley and wheat, 1%). Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is the most widely grown type of millet and Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) native to Africa with many cultivated forms now is an important crop worldwide. They are the most important crops for both human consumption and animal fodder ranking after paddy, wheat and maize in the world.
The crop yield is adversely affected by several biotic (animate) and abiotic (inanimate) factors. More than 100 diseases caused by different microorganisms have been reported. Among this downy mildew, smut, anthracnoses are of economically important in major growing areas of the sub zoba Hamelmalo and zoba Anseba. However the average yield in the major sorghum growing areas is <0.673 t/ha in Hamelmalo region, while Sudan (neighbor of Eritrea) one of the largest producers of sorghum in the world.
The most common reasons for low yields are drought, pests, diseases and weeds (Striga) wild sorghums and their intermediates with cultivated sorghum and lack of improved practices (Tesfamichael, 1999 and Obilana et al., 2002). Seven fungal genera were encountered in high percent frequencies of seed borne fungal pathogen in sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut collected from farmers own saved seeds from Zoba Anseba (Syed et al., 2013).
The common diseases occurred on these crops are: Downy Mildew, Leaf blight, Rectangular Leaf spot, Anthracnose and red rot, Rust, Grain smut, Loose smut, Long smut, Ergot or Sugary disease, Head mould and Phanerogamic parasite (Striga asiatica). During a decade period of time investigations some of the following diseases have been observed.
For more information contact author
Syed Danish Yaseen Naqvi
Department of Plant Protection, Hamelmalo Agricultural College, Hamelmalo, Eritrea.