Uganda fights off BBW

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Uganda fights off BBW

Banana growers in the African country are combating banana bacterial wilt disease

Uganda fights off BBW

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A joint initiative by the Ugandan government and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has helped aid over 3,000 farmers in a fight against banana bacterial wilt (BBW) disease.

Banana production in the country had previously fallen to 60-85 per cent, the FAO reported, after initially being discovered in Uganda in 2001.

"No banana varieties are known to be resistant to the disease and there is no chemical control effective against it, so once it appears it can spread like wildfire," the FAO said in a statement.

In order to prevent the spread of BBW, Farmer Field Schools were set up in five Ugandan districts to educate growers on banana planting and pest control techniques.

According to the FAO, the turnaround sees the disease over 75 per cent contained. "Today, you do not find banana wilt disease in any of the districts where the field schools have been established, which were at one time the front line hot spots in this area," said the FAO's Wafa Khoury.

Similar projects have also been earmarked for Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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