Productivity of East African highland banana remains low at farm level despite previous research efforts. This is because previous research targeted constraints in isolation, with no directed effort to consolidate them into holistic management approaches to improve yield.
Thus, the conception and implementation of a Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (BMGF) funded banana-agronomy project entitled: “Improving scalable banana agronomy for small scale farmers in East Africa.”
The specific objects of the project are to reduce the yield gap and extension support gaps so as to boost banan 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)
- Bioversity International
- Makerere University
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.
Opportunities for improvement include; the wide gap between on farm and attainable yield, pre-existing variability: learning from best farmers, previous research outputs and enriching the basket of options.
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