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.
An international team of scientists have for the first time demonstrated that it is possible to speed up banana breeding using genomic prediction models that accurately select banana hybrids with desired traits. The models use the plant’s genetic data (DNA landmarks) to estimate its usefulness in breeding and predict the physical traits such as height, yield, and disease resistance before the plant is taken to the field.
IITA will lead efforts in deploying existing knowledge, human resources and capabilities to breed for resistant bananas against TR4 based on its extensive experience in banana breeding in the continent.
NRCB to introduce a dwarf karpuravalli and Saba, a drought-tolerant variety
The National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB), which steps into its 25th year, would introduce two new banana varieties for cultivation during the course of the year, according to S. Uma, Director, NRCB.
Kampala, Uganda, 24 April 2017. A team of international researchers are, this week, 24-26 April 2017, meeting in Uganda to review progress and plan for future activities of a five-year project that seeks to improve the production and productivity of banana in Uganda and Tanzania. Read more
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