Objective: Improve access to clean banana planting materials for better livelihoods, enhancing both food security and household incomes.
About the project:
This project was conceived as a response remedy to the devastation caused by the banana bacterial wilt to farmers in Kagera Region since 2010, when the banana wilt emerged in the region. The banana xanthomanas wilt has affected banana growing thereby subjecting a population of over 4.0 million people who depended on bananas for the staple food crops to starvation. Action in Africa - Banana Wilt in Nyaishozi - YouTube
TISSUE CULTURE has been recommended as a biotechnology practice that would address the problems caused by the banana bacterial wilt. Provision of clean banana planting materials has been recommended as a measure to curb the spread of the banana bacterial virus, and believed to reverse the current trend of destruction.
The project aims at improving food security and livelihoods of the small holder farmers through timely and cost effective access to clean and disease free banana planting materials.
Productivity of bananas has been greatly constrained by the banana bacterial wilt that is contagious in a way, and easily transmitted through various cycles of plant growth and farming practices. Originally assumed to be transmitted by bees in search of nectar from one banana flower to another, farming agronomic practices using knives are also blamed for the transfer of the virus.
Sustainable banana production can be highly increased and improved through the use of planting materials that have been cleaned of the virus through biotechnology.
To enhance the production of bananas to feed population in Kagera and environs (about 8 million people)
To commercialize quality declared tissue cultured banana planting materials and make these available to farmers in Kagera region.
Setup infrastructure for mass production of tissue culture bananas
SHORT TERM PLANS:
Work with exisiting biotech Tissue culture laboratories in the region (BIO-Crops in Uganda and Crop Bioscience Solutions in Tanzania), and AgroGenetic Technologies AGT in Uganda for INVITRO TISSUE CULTURE.The plants would be hardened at FADECO and later distributed to farmers. However these labs would be selling the INVITRO TISSUE CULTURE PLANTS. The plan is start small (10-20,000 plants) expanding to 100,000 - 500,000 plants in 3 years.
LONG TERM PLANS:
Working with experts and existing partners, grow and establish own biotech laboratory in Karagwe.
REQUIRED URGENTLY NOW:
FUNDING PARTNERS TO FINANCE THE PROJECT (About 30,000 USD)
TECHNICAL PARTNERS WITH VOLUNTEERS/ TECHNICAL EXPERTS TO WORK WITH THE PROJECT