Banana production area, yield, and systems
In Burundi, banana ranks the highest grown crop amongst other crops grown in Burundi, with a total production of 1,847,830 (MT). Production area is estimated at 500,000 ha and occupies 17-20% of arable areas. It contributes to about 45% of all crops production (ISTEEBU, 2003). The brewing varieties represent 65% of the total banana production, while 30% and 10% are cooking and dessert varieties, respectively. The yield is estimated to about 10T/ha in traditional cropping system of Burundi where banana is usually inter-cropped with other annual crops.
FHIA varieties especially FHIA-17 and FHIA-25 are in expansion in different regions. These varieties are likely used because of their higher yield and tolerance to Fusarium wilt. In the Muyinga Province (North of Burundi) – close to the Kagera region*, Tanzania where these hybrids were introduced in 1997 – farmers take more care of these varieties comparatively to their local varieties in providing manure and proper management.
The main constraints of banana production in Burundi are:
- The poor quality of planting material where farmers are used to get suckers from their own banana mats with risk of diseases transmission. Although, in Burundi two tissue culture laboratories (AGROBIOTEC and PHYTOLABU) are available, farmers do not yet trust in tissue culture small plantlets.
- Pests and diseases: weevils (Cosmopolites sordidus), Nematodes, Banana bunchy top virus, Fusarium, Xanthomonas wilt, Black leaf streak disease (black Sigatoka), Armellaria
- Low soil fertility and water deficits in some areas.
- Lack of processing factories which are needed in some regions with high banana production from new FHIA varieties.
Other uses of banana in Burundi
Banana is a crop which plays an important socioeconomic role. The farmer with a big banana farm is socially considered as he could regularly produce beer and provide to neighbors drinks and also get more income. During wedding ceremonies and other great social events, Burundians use banana beer, while cooking varieties are roasted in different pubs and eaten with meat.
More information is available on Musapedia, an online collaboratively built and peer-reviewed compendium of knowledge on bananas, which has a section on banana-producing countries, including one on Burundi. The purpose of these pages is to provide access to relevant statistics and describe the country’s banana-based systems as well as the factors that constrain their productivity and sustainability. Everyone with information to share can edit these pages. All you need to do to be allowed to edit or create a page is to register to the ProMusa website. Participating in this effort will help ensure that the information about banana production in Burundi is both accurate and up-to-date.
* In 1997, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium multiplied pest- and disease-resistant varieties developed by the Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agricola (FHIA) and introduced them to farmers in the Kagera region with the help of Belgian funds. The material came from the International Transit Centre in Belgium. The project distributed about 2.5 million suckers of the new varieties, which on-farm tests had established would produce bunches that weighed an average of 18.9 kg, compared with 9.7 kg for local varieties. In 2002, a survey revealed that 29% of households had planted at least one new banana variety. However, in high-rainfall areas, where pests and diseases put farmers under more pressure, adoption was 100%.