Publication date: Wednesday, 14th July, 2004

SOLUTION: All infected bananas must be cut down and uprooted to prevent new suckers

By Ronald Kalyango

THE National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has started training farmers how to control the deadly Banana Bacterial Wilt (BBW) where it is rampant.


It also intends to guide farmers how to prevent it in the districts where it has not spread. While addressing residents of Bamunanika and Zirobwe sub-counties, Dr. Norah Odoyi, a Kawanda-based banana researcher, said the best way of averting the wilt is by breaking off all the male flower buds as soon as the fruits have formed.

“If the disease appears, cut down the stem and dig up all the affected plant so that it does not produce any new suckers then dig a hole where the plant was growing and bury all of the pieces completely,” she advised. She said if a farmer cannot dig a hole and bury the pieces, then he should heap them into a mound, cover them with leaves and leave them to rot for at least six months before disturbing the mound. “After cutting a diseased plant or digging in the locality you must sterilise the tools to avoid carrying the infection to other plants. Wipe them thoroughly with a dilute disinfectant such as jik or alcohol like waragi or heat them up in a fire.

Odoyi urged local farmers to be vigilant and not allow farmers to introduce infected planting materials in their own plantations.

However, reports coming in from other parts of the country indicate that Kiboga district has been devastated by the disease and the infected planting material came from several villages in Bukomero sub-county.

The disease known to have begun in Bulyanti village, Kyabaala parish, in Mukono district in September 2001 has spread to 19 districts and

is spreading fast but NARO is effectively handling the situation.


This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/9/37/372168

FBA

  • Programme Overview
  • FBAP Research Projects
  • Key Achievements


About 80% of the Ugandans derive their livelihoods from Agriculture (crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry) and related activities. However, less than 30% of their agricultural produce are value-added into forms desired by consumers. Besides, the rate of migration from rural areas to urban centres is on the increase. It will be a challenge to meet the dietary requirements and demands of these migrants with a multiplicity of culinary food tastes if the food industry is not transformed from of the current status to the 2040 envisioned industrial level. The transformation can only be achieved through research and multi-sectorial development efforts.

FBA plays a vital role in the transformation process as it interfaces between primary agricultural producers and secondary or tertiary processors. The Program addresses researchable issues from farm to fork which include; safety of raw materials and final products, post-harvest handling and primary processing, transformation of raw materials into forms desired by consumers (value-addition), quality assurance systems, and storage options for agricultural produce at different segments of the respective value-chain. In addition, FBA nurtures innovative ideas from researchers into profitable business enterprises that create jobs and increases incomes through her incubation centre.

Currently, the food processing sector in Uganda is severely out-competed by cheap imports, hampered by irregular supply of high quality raw materials and low level of automated mechanization hence inefficient and uncompetitive. During harvest seasons characterized by glut, the post-harvest losses are unacceptably high which are further exacerbated by poor on-farm and en-route handling practices coupled with inappropriate facilities. Consequently, the desired quality attributes of agricultural produce are compromised which undermines the quality of the final products. In highly competitive high-value market space with fastidious consumers, low quality products are uncompetitive and inevitably fetch low prices. As a result, primary producers are caught in a cycle of poverty

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Project 1: Developing products and processes for enhanced nutrition, safety and commercial value of agricultural commodities

Specific expected outputs:

Safe, nutritious and low-cost products with commercializable potential for general and targeted consumers with specific dietary requirements.

Improved food processing systems for optimal utilization of agricultural produce including by-products

Predictive models and low-cost technologies for industrial effluent (waste management)

Project 2 : Development and promotion of technologies and processes that extend shelf life and storability of agricultural produce and their primary products.

Specific expected outputs:

Crop storage options (Storage models/ storage systems that respond to climate change ).

Low cost improved packaging options

Improved pieces of equipment and tools that reduce drudgery along value-chain

Technologies and processes that improve food preservation

Project 3: Development, adoption of technologies and practices that ensure safety of agricultural produce

Specific expected outputs:

Levels of chemical, microbiological and physical contaminants in raw agricultural produce and products.

Information to guide policy formulation on safety and quality of agricultural commodities and demonstration of due diligence in case of legal litigation.

Rapid test kits or protocols for detecting food contaminants and adulterants in foods.

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Project 4: Enhancing commercialization of agricultural research innovations through incubation

Specific expected outputs:

An equipped agri-business incubation center offering services to technology innovators, business incubators and the private sector

Profitable business enterprises from nurtured innovative ideas

A network of satellite incubators in different regions of Uganda

A repository knowledge center for global technology and information

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Novel safe and nutritious products

Storage options and shelf-life prolongation

Safety of agricultural produce and products

Agri-business enhancement through incubation process

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Vision

To be a centre of excellence generating and promoting appropriate agricultural technologies

Mission

To generate and promote agricultural technologies and improve productivity, value addition, income and food security

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