NARO Bananas a Hit in Kisoro District
Farmers in Kisoro district are praising National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) improved bananas for saving their community.
Mathew Katungi, a farmer in Kisoro District, is already reaping big from the NAROBan2 (M20), one of the improved banana varieties. This banana which the community has named “Gift of Kisoro” was released in 2017 to the public and is resistant to banana weevils, nematodes and Black Sigatoka.
It has yield capacity of up to 60.3 tonnes per hectare per year and its bunch weight can be as heavy as 67 kilogrammes.
“I am so glad to confirm that NAROBan2 (M20) has become the most leading banana in Kisoro and has led to a rapid growth of many plantations in the district today,” said Katungi.
“The community of Kisoro has already changed the banana name from NAROBan2 (M20) to Gift of Kisoro,” he added.
Katungi who runs Mutanda Agricultural Training Centre, at the lakeside of Lake Mutanda, is already giving out banana suckers to farmers in the area and says he aims at rebuilding banana farming in Kisoro.
He has urged the Banana Research Program to make more visits to the district and train/equip farmers with more knowledge in banana Farming.
“Development in communities is the first way to develop Uganda. I request NARO banana research programme team to teach communities in Kisoro on how to best to grow and manage banana plantations,” he requested.
The banana program introduced the improved bananas in Kisoro in late 2021 and farmers have already started harvesting. Since inception, NARO has released seven (7) improved banana hybrids which are resistant to pests and diseases and tolerant to harsh climate conditions such as drought.
Planting materials for these bananas can be got from National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) offices in Kawanda, the Mbarara zonal offices and a few private tissue culture suppliers around the country.