The excellent talk by from Rothamsted Research was about modelling the spread of Cassava brown streak disease. This disease can lead to a 75% reduction in yield. One way for the disease to spread over longer distances is through the trading of the planting material. The plants are propagated from cuttings of parent plants. If the parent was infected, so will the offspring. It is therefore important to get disease-free planting material to farmers. This is the kind of problem where the mathematical models must take into account not only the ecological factors but also the social factors, in this case how farmers obtain and select their planting material from other farmers. The researchers are therefore planning to collaborate with #sociologists to design appropriate surveys to get at the information.
: It turns out that one of the countries most affected by the disease is #Uganda.