Potato cyst nematode found in Kenya
The potato cyst nematode (PCN) is a serious pest from South America which has been found recently in sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya and Rwanda).
Surveys with IITA, CIP, the international center for insect physiology and ecology (icipe), the Kenyan government, and other partners (Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization Kenyatta University, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – Kenya) revealed that PCN is widespread in Kenya. Because it did not have a nematologist on staff, CIP teamed up via RTB with the IITA nematologist and the nematology laboratory at icipe and Kenyatta University. Knowing one’s enemy can be half the battle: Once PCN was found in Kenya, RTB and survey partners collaborated to make posters and other educational material to warn farmers of the dangers of the pest, and to teach some basic management techniques. After the surveys, Kenya issued phytosanitary guidelines to ensure that certified seed potato is produced only on soil that is free of PCN, a crucial measure for managing this important pest.