BBTD containment and recovery

Project Title: BBTD containment and recovery: Building capacity and piloting field recovery approaches through a learning alliance

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Participating Countries: Nigeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Malawi, Rwanda
  • Principle Investigator: Charles Staver
  • Contact scientists: Lava Kumar – IITA (other team members: Fen Beed, Rachid Hanna, Rony Swennen, Holger Kirscht), Marie-Line Iskra-Caruana – CIRAD (other team members: Pierre-Yves Teycheney, Thierry Lescot), Charles Staver – Bioversity (other team members: Guy Blomme, Anne Rietveld, Pascale Lepoint)
  • Lead centre: Bioversity International
  • Partners: CIRAD, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queesland Government (Australia), national and local partners in Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Nigeria with additional country partners in Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, Zambia.

Banana Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) of plantains and bananas is caused by a destructive virus which is very difficult to eradicate. While it has already been detected in at least 14 African countries, its impact in the affected regions is drastic: diseased plants are severely stunted and do not produce fruits.
Considering the urgent need for collective action to tackle the escalating BBTD threat to banana in SSA, the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (CRP-RTB) granted a project titled ‘Banana bunchy top disease containment and recovery in SSA: Building capacity and piloting field recovery approaches through a learning alliance’. This project, implemented by Bioversity International, IITA and CIRAD together with a range of national partners in Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo, Burundi and Malawi, focuses on: (i) the piloting of community and farm household recovery strategies in BBTD-affected areas; (ii) testing alternative approaches to develop supply chains for virus-free planting material and; (iii) building knowledge and predictive tools of virus-vector-host interactions, cropping system and farmer management.


As part of this initiative, a workshop on ‘Strategies for Recovering Banana Production in BBTD-affected Areas: Community and Farm Household Approaches’ was held from 20th to 25th January 2014 by Bioversity International and the IITA, with CIRAD and ISABU. The workshop enabled the project implementing team to come together to develop a cohesive 3-year strategy for an impact-oriented initiative to recover banana production affected by BBTD in Africa. The report of the workshop is now available in English here. French version will follow.

To know more about banana bunchy top disease:

Click here to access the latest literature published on BBTD.
Have a look at the CIALCA videos there.