Effectiveness of Macropropagation Technology in Production of Disease Free Banana Seedlings in Central and Eastern Kenya

Banana (Musa spp.) is one of the most important food crops that contribute to the food security of the majority small holders in Kenya. However, due to diseases, banana production has not reached its full potential. Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc); black and yellow sigatoka leaf spot caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis and Mycosphaerella musicola respectively, weevils (Cosmopolites sordidus) and plant parasitic nematodes have been the major diseases affecting banana seedlings. In addition, banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum is a disease that rapidly destroys plantations. Most of these diseases are spread by use of infected planting material. Macropropagation is a cost effective seedling production technology which can be implemented with little capital and skill to provide planting material. The study was carried out to determine the potential of the the technology to produce healthy banana seedlings. From the study, the macropropagation technique has potential for banana seedlings multiplication only if the mother corms were healthy.
Le bananier (Musa spp.) est l’une des cultures vivrières les plus importantes qui contribuent à la sécurité alimentaire de la majorité des petits agriculteurs au Kenya. Toutefois, à cause des maladies, la production des bananes n’a pas atteint son plein potentiel. La fusariose causée par Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), la tache noire et jaune de sigatoka causée par Mycosphaerella fijiensis et Mycosphaerella musicola respectivement, les charançons (Cosmopolites sordidus) et les nématodes parasites des plantes ont été les principales maladies affectant les semis très jeunes. En outre, le fanage Xanthomonas de la banane (BXW) causé par la bactérie Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum est une maladie qui détruit rapidement les plantations. La plupart de ces maladies se propagent par l’utilisation du matériel de plantation infecté. La macropropagation est une technologie de production des semis à un coût efficace, qui peut être mise en place avec peu de capital et de compétence pour fournir du matériel de plantation. L’étude a été réalisée afin de déterminer le potentiel de la technologie pour produire des semis de bananier sains. D’après l’étude, la technique de macropropagation ne dispose d’un potentiel de multiplication des semis de bananier que si les bulbes-mères étaient sains.
Extended Abstract for Crop Improvement
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RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
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The 2012 RUFORUM Biennial Conference is the third in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. The third Biennial Conference was attended by 657 participants.  This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Crop Improvement.