Making every flower count with Solvit
Syngenta EA Ltd in Kenya and East Africa has continued to deliver successful new product launches, this time Solvit, a new innovative fungicide against powdery mildew and rust diseases in ornamental crops.
During the Solvit launch in Nairobi, Professor Eunice Mutitu, a well renowned plant pathologist from the University of Nairobi, Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, took the opportunity to congratulate Syngenta on this important milestone of providing an innovative solution against powdery mildew and rust diseases in ornamentals that will significantly improve both quality and quantity of production.
Mr Tulezi thanked Syngenta for closely collaborating with various stakeholders in the flower industry to bring to market solutions that meet the needs of growers and the European export markets. Giving an elaborate presentation during the launch of Solvit in both Nairobi and Naivasha, Dr. Maina Muiru, a Senior lecturer in the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection from the University of Nairobi, explained the economic importance of both powdery mildew and rust diseases in ornamental crops including the disease symptoms, aetiology, epidemiology and management.
“One of the most important constraints in rose production is powdery mildew. Additionally, due to quarantine restrictions, carnation rust is an economically important disease as eradication efforts can be costly and can cause significant losses in production”, Dr. Muiru explained to the growers and other stakeholders who were keenly listening to his presentation. He further continued, “Powdery mildew has a worldwide distribution and the economic impact is due to reduced flower production and the aesthetic value that is seen in fewer flowers of poorer quality.
Therefore for effective disease management, knowledge of the biology, ecology and epidemiology of the pathogen as well as the host characteristics and those of the pathosystem are very critical to understand. Powdery mildew of roses is caused by Podosphaera pannosa, previously Sphaerotheca pannosa.
Disease symptoms include:
Infected areas get covered with a greyish white powdery fungal growth
On older leaves - large white patches appear that eventually may become necrotic
White patches also appear on young green shoots and may coalesce covering entire growing shoots
Sometimes buds get attacked and become covered with white mildew
Symptoms of powdery mildew at various stages of infection:
Carnation rust causes discoloration and interferes with photosynthesis resulting to suppressed growth. Disease symptoms include:
Light coloured lesions on leaves spreading to stems and sepals as disease severity increases
Pustules can be up to 10 cm in length and occur on stems, leaves and calyx
The two active ingredients in Solvit both inhibit sterol biosynthesis but at different sites. The interference with the ergosterol products results in disruption of mycelial growth and fungal development on the plant surface and within the plant. Leaf penetration and plant tissue infection are reduced and haustoria formation is inhibited, which interrupts the disease cycle.
Mr. Ruud Roeven, EAME Technical Service Manager explained the features and benefits of Solvit.
Solvit is registered in several countries including The Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy and Kenya. Solvit is an emulsion oil in water. Fenpropidin and Penconazole have a high translaminar activity and are absorbed rapidly by the leaves and green parts of the plants. Inside the plant, Fenpropidin and Penconazole are translocated acropetally (upwards within the xylem) resulting in a good distribution within the leaf and other treated plant parts.
It results in faster, more effective and longer-lasting control of powdery mildew and rust. Ms. Margaret Njambi, Technical manager for Syngenta in East Africa, shared results from trials conducted in Kenya on over 60 rose varieties and other ornamental varieties in collaboration with more than 50 growers across the different flower growing regions.
Solvit proved to be fast acting within 48 hours, more effective against powdery mildew and rust diseases on Ornamental Plants with a longer lasting effect for two – three weeks. Solvit is safe to a wide range of beneficial insects and predatory mites. Ms. Njambi reiterated that fungicides should be applied during the early stages of disease development as part of good disease management practices.
A maximum of three successive sprays of Solvit should be applied at approximately 5-7 days interval during prolonged or severe attacks. Mr. Victor Juma, business manager for Syngenta EA, further added that securing a clean crop during peak and high disease pressure periods should be a target for all growers in order to improve farm productivity and profits.
Mr. Lars Gruchel, Commercial Head for Syngenta Professional Solutions CE/EE/East Africa, reminded growers the leading role that Kenya and Ethiopia plays in the global ornamental industry and assured the various stakeholders on Syngenta’s commitment to the floriculture industry through investments in research and development to ensure that growers have the right tools to address the challenges of production.