Bananas are one of the most popular fruits on earth.  In Kenya, the fruit is expansively cultivated for income generation and as a staple food by various local communities.   However, the main predicament with banana farming in Kenya is that they are easily affected by diseases that reduce the yield and lead to sustenance and profit loss to the farmer.

Diseases and pests that affect banana farming in Kenya include Fusarium Wilt and Sigatoka, weevils and nematodes, and bacterial infections such as bacterial Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW). Additionally, viruses such as banana streak and banana bunchy top disease cause diseases to bananas.

To advance economic development and agriculture in Kenya, it is important to take on farming technologies that involve providing planting materials that are disease free, mature faster, have better yield, and are safe for human consumption.  Tissue culture bananas grow faster and give higher yields as compared to traditional bananas and meet the above-mentioned requirements.  Tissue culture technique involves generating plants from stems, leaves or roots in sterilized conditions and can be produced in plentiful quantities.

The distribution of TC bananas plant lets that are virus indexed is available at commercial levels by organizations such as Aberdare Technologies Limited (ATL).  The technique is also beneficial in helping plants such as bananas that do not generate seeds to reproduce.

Varieties available at ATL:

  • FHIA 17
  • Grand Naine
  • Williams
  • Gall
  • Jaffa
  • Ng’ombe

Read More Tissue Culture Banana Farming in Kenya