Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Hybrid banana emerged as a big boon for banana cultivation

NIGERIA: With the continuous efforts put in by the experts of National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO-Uganda) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria, the first hybrid banana developed for higher output emerged as a big boon for banana cultivation. As stated by IITA, the electrifying varieties of 26 hybrids of the East Africa highland (EAH) cooking bananas truly reflect the comprehensive research of 20 years (1993-2013). Catherine Njuguna, Communication Officer at IITA in Dar-es-Salaam expressed that the hybrids designated as “NARITAs” (NARO+IITA) offer 60% elevated yield than local banana and are rebellious to prominent Black Sigatoka i.e. a fungal infection usually found in leaves accountable for 30-80 percent of banana losses. He added, “These hybrids are poised to greatly boost banana production in the East African region. IITA and NARO recently entered into an agreement to test the hybrids in all the banana growing areas in East Africa, in collaboration with the respective national programs and Biodiversity International.” To ensure its authenticity, all the 26 varieties were sent to IITA-Ibadan for testing to check that they are free of viruses and can be securely transported to other countries as well. East Africa is considered to be the discoverer and leading consumer of highland banana in the world. - See more at:


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