Plantain and highland cooking bananas are important staple crops in West-Central Africa and Eastern Africa, respectively. They play an essential role in food security, enhanced livelihoods, and resilient agricultural systems. But breeding bananas and plantains was for a long time considered impossible due to sterility and triploidy – containing only vestigial seeds, they are unable to sexually reproduce. This poses challenges for the development of improved varieties able to withstand threats …
Hybrid crops are expected to have higher edible yields than their parents, but by how much? A team of researchers comparing the performance of the East Africa Highland banana, locally known as ‘Matooke’, found that some hybrids had bunch weights that were up to two and a half times heavier than those of their best performing parents! This significant yield …
In October 2019, the “Breeding Better Bananas” project transitioned into Phase II—“Accelerated Breeding Better Bananas”—to further streamline the conventional breeding of banana in East Africa. This project brings together an international spectrum of partners to transform the national banana breeding programs in Uganda and Tanzania. This improved banana breeding pipeline has produced more than 231 Matooke hybrids for advanced screening …
Approaches and Strategies for Augmenting Export of Bananas from India Date: Friday 21 August 2020 Time: 2:30pm – 4:30pm (New Delhi time) Venue: Virtual event Download Poster | Program
Evolution, pests and diseases are threatening the banana with EXTINCTION, so a global network of researchers is working to keep it alive.
Scientists have announced a breakthrough in the search for banana varieties that will be resistant to pests and diseases.
The announcement was made during the fifth annual improvement of bananafor smallholder farmers project planning workshop held at Lake View Hotel Mbarara
Mbarara, Uganda 27 May 2019. An international team of researchers that is revolutionizing banana breeding in Eastern Africa are this week (27‒29 May 2019) gathering in Mbarara, Uganda, to review progress and achievements made over the past 5 years under phase one of the Breeding Better Bananas (http://breedingbetterbananas.org/) project, and planning for future needs and activities.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) started a breeding program for the East Africa Highland Bananas (EAHB) in the mid 1990s that has delivered exciting results including the first-ever hybrids, dubbed NARITAs.
Currently, the database has over 2,600 photos of over 180 varieties from East, Central and East African banana and plantain collections.
It is estimated that over 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) depend on East Africa highland cooking bananas (EAHB) and plantain as their principal source of dietary carbohydrates. These include Matooke and in the East and Central Africa (ECA) and Plantains in Western and Central Africa (WCA).
A team led by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have announced a breakthrough in the search for banana varieties that are resistant to the lethal bacterial banana wilt disease. This debunks the notion that all banana varieties are susceptible to the disease and opens the possibility of breeding resistant varieties.
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