Newest disease ‘Yam Rust’ affects crops in Saint Lucia

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The agriculture sector in Saint Lucia recently identified diseases affecting yams. This is known as ‘Yam Rust’ and is caused by a fungal pathogen. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development confirmed the news and alerted farmers about the disease. 

The Ministry further recognized the importance of yam as a staple tuber in diet and as a year-round cash crop for farmers, which contributes significantly to their livelihood. 

It is to be noted that Yam Rust has been identified in various agricultural regions across the island as well. The affected yam varieties include Yellow, White and Portuguese yams, and they have been sent to a laboratory for testing. The test confirmed the existence of this disease. 

It is important for farmers to monitor their crops for any signs of infection continuously. There is a need for early detection of the crops, and immediate actions are required to prevent further spread of the disease. 

Noting this, the Ministry of Agriculture, the farming community and the Agricultural Extension Division are collaborating to implement effective measures to combat Yam Rust.

The farmers are strictly advised to take the necessary precautions while moving planting material from one place to another. Such conditions will lead to the transmission of the disease between the farms. 

Moreover, travellers are required to obtain the necessary permission or guidance before illegally importing any yams and other planting materials. 

Furthermore, the Crop Protection Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to work closely with the Agricultural Extension Unit in the coming weeks to provide farmers with guidance and advice on necessary prevention and control measures.

Additionally, the Research department commenced a survey on Monday to assess the prevalence and extent of the disease across the island. This survey will provide an opportunity to understand disease cycles within our ecosystem and provide disease management guidance to farmers. 

Notably, the Government of Saint Lucia took to their official social media handle (Facebook) to share the news of this newest identified disease and urged people, especially farmers, to take care of the crops and prevent the spread of Yam Rust. 

Ana Allen
Ana Allen
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email


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