Quality Banana Planting Materials to Enhance Food Security
Banana is one of the most important food crops in Uganda. It is currently being grown by about 75% of the farmers on 1.3 million hectares.
With most of what is produced consumed locally, the banana crop is also a good income source for farmers all year round in addition to providing soil surface cover and reducing soil erosion on steep slopes. It also acts as a principal source of mulch for maintaining and improving soil fertility.
However, the majority of the small holder farmers in Uganda obtain suckers from the informal seed sector. This means that many multiply, select and distribute the suckers.
This practice though increases the risk of the fast spreading of pests and diseases such as Banana wilt. Subsequently, productivity is affected both in terms of quantity and quality, threatening the food sector in the long-term.
Mukono ZARDI scientists have as a result established two on-station mother gardens at Ntawo and Kamenyamiggo to provide disease-free planting materials to farmers.
Selected banana cultivars of Mbwazirume, Kisansa, Mpologoma, NAROBAN 5 and Nakitembe, which are all high-yielding, were planted for multiplication and dissemination to stakeholders in the Lake Victoria crescent zone.
Farmers visiting the Institute on one day tours and some of those within the neighbourhood have been able to receive practical skills on proper banana management.