Country profile

kenya-mapBanana production area, yield and systems

Banana (Musa spp.) is one of the most important food and cash crops in Kenya. However, most of the cultivars grown particulary the local ones are low yielders and are thus not very suitable for commercial production. (J. Njuguna et al., 2008)

Production constraints

Kenya has experienced a decline in banana (Musa spp.) production during the last two decades. This can be attributed mainly to an increase in the prevalence of pests and diseases due to the limited practice of effective control. The main pests and diseases of concern are Fusarium wilt (caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense), black leaf streak and Sigatoka leaf spot (caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis and Mycosphaerella musicola, respectively), banana Xanthomonas wilt (Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum), the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus, and the burrowing nematode (Radopholus similis). Since neither a formal system nor standards exist to regulate planting material quality, farmers frequently plant untreated, thus potentially infested sword suckers, aggravating the problem (I. Macharia et al. 2010).

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