Biotechnology to benefit Small Scale Banana Producers In Kenya

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Date
1996
Authors
Kenya Agriculture Research Institute
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Kenya Agriculture Research Institute
Abstract
Banana is an important crop used as a staple diet and an important cash earner in many parts of Eastern Africa, particularly Kenya and Uganda. Recently, the banana industry in Kenya has been devastated by panama diseases, sigatoka and weeviVnematode complexes. The common small farmer practice of using suckers perpetuates banana diseases and pests which are estimated to reduce yields by up to 90 percent compared to the proven potential of modem varieties and disease free stock. As a result, bananas are increasingly costly and no longer serve as a ready supply of energy for rural populations, thereby limiting the cash earning of small scale farmers, particularly women. This is particularly relevant here because bananas are predominantly produced in holdings of a few plants to a few hectares and marketed locally.
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