NEWS & EVENTS

FtF Project Scaling out banana production in Northern Uganda

The Feed the Future (FtF) project has this year promoted the use and commercialization of banana in the Northern region of Uganda. Various stakeholder consultations meetings held in the region revealed a huge banana market in the region, Southern Sudan and Sudan.

Stakeholder consultations on scaling of banana in northern Uganda revealed a potentially huge banana market in the region.

Banana is intended to change the communities of Northern Uganda from depending on volatile, unstable annual cropping systems to more stable and reliable perennial cropping systems thereby improving and stabilizing their food and income security.

Preliminary findings of a detailed market study carried out showed that bananas were more profitable compared to key staples such as sim-sim, soya-beans, beans, groundnuts etc, with profitability margins of Ush6.2million/acre/year compared to rice’s Ush2.6million, groundnuts’ Ush2.0million or soybean’s Ush1.4million.

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Projects

The National Banana Research Programme (NBRP) is running different projects all with the aim to improve banana productivity within the country and region. Some of the projects are being run in collaboration with other development partners.

Below are the current projects being run by the NBRP.

Banana Agronomy Project:

This project aims at bridging this yield gap by improving banana agronomy practices for small-scale farmers in highland banana cropping systems in East Africa. The conception and implementation of this project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (BMGF). The specific objects of the project are to reduce the yield gap and extension support gaps so as to boost banana productivity of small scale farmers in Uganda (western & central regions) and Tanzania.

The project is implemented by a consortium of six partners who include: National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), TARI, Bioversity International, Makerere University and CABI.

The overall objective of the project is targeting increasing banana productivity from 10tons/ha/year to 25tons/ha/year reaching 25,000 beneficiaries. The strategies for this focused on decision support tools, intensification, scaling, communication, monitoring and evaluation.

Find details about project HERE:

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About Banana Farming

Banana is still the most preferred staple crop in Uganda. Its ability to fruit all year round makes it more important for household food security and income.

As an arm of National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) Uganda, we are mandated to generate new varieties of bananas but provide information on how a banana farmer can enhance productivity.

Below is the basic information one has to know when venturing into banana farming. This includes key information on different plantation management practices, soil and water conservation and management practices and pests and disease prevention and control measures.

PRE-PLANTING

(a) Site selection

In banana farming, every location is unique and variety performance follows site specification. Bananas grow best in well-drained deep soils. Good drainage for your banana plantation ensure the plant roots can easily penetrate the soils allowing aeration.

Avoid swampy areas to prevent environmental degradation, restricted root development and higher chances of leaching (washing of plant nutrients from the upper soil layers to the bottom layers of the soil).

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Feed the Future Project Reveals Huge Banana Market in Northern Uganda

The Feed the Future Uganda Agriculture Research Activity is a research and development initiative that seeks to promote use and commercialization of improved crop and livestock technologies with yield and nutrition enhancing characteristics. The Activity directly supports Development Objectives 1 and 3 in USAID/Uganda’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) 2016-2021.

In order to achieve this objective, the activity focuses on the continued improvement of crop genetics, bio-fortification, integrated pest and disease management for eight commodities; root crops (cassava and sweet potatoes), coffee, semi-arid/dryland crops (sorghum, millet and green gram), banana, beans, maize, potato, and livestock (indigenous chicken).

During the first year of implementation, the Banana Program team participated in conducting baseline and market studies; establishing strategic partnerships and systems for commercialization.

Scaling Banana Market in Northern Uganda

Stakeholder consultations on scaling of banana in northern Uganda revealed a potentially huge banana market in the region, Southern Sudan and Sudan, presenting significant business opportunities for the farmers in these areas. Banana is intended to change the communities of Northern Uganda from depending on volatile, unstable annual cropping systems to more stable and reliable perennial cropping systems thereby improving and stabilizing their food and income security. Preliminary findings of a detailed market study showed that bananas were more profitable compared to key staples such as sim-sim, soya-beans, beans, groundnuts etc, with profitability margins of Ush6.2million/acre/year compared to rice’s Ush2.6million, groundnuts’ Ush2.0million or soybean’s Ush1.4million.

Other findings revealed that bananas consumed in Acholi and Lango sub-regions alone were worth Ush25.99billion and that most of them are sourced from other areas justifying the need to increase production in the region from 27.5 to 80 bunches/acre/month.

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Address

National Banana Research Program
National Agricultural Research Laboratories
(NARL) - Kawanda P.O. Box 7065, Kampala
along Bombo – Gulu road.

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