COMMUNITY BASED APPROACH IN COMBATING BANANA XANTHOMONAS WILT (BXW) FOR FOOD SECURITY, POVERTY REDUCTION AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS (PILOT PROJECT) IN NSHAMBA AND RUBALE DIVISIONS OF MULEBA AND BUKOBA DISTRICTS, KAGERA REGION, TANZANIA
Banana is major staple food crop in Kagera region and in other countries of East African Great Lakes region. It is an important cash and food crop for more than 2 million people of Kagera Region. Banana dominates the diet of the Bahaya people of Kagera Region. Bananas are also important source of income for farmers and they provide ecological functions such as protection of the soil against erosion and leaching.
Despite the significance of banana for the food security, incomes and livelihoods of the communities in Kagera region (Tanzania), the crop is significantly threatened by banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) (Xanthomonas campenstris pv.musacerum).
Generally, Banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) jeopardizes the food security, family incomes and livelihoods of millions of farmers in Kagera region and beyond. BXW was first reported in Ethiopia about 40 years ago and then spread to other countries including Uganda in 2001, and Tanzania in January 2006 at Kabale village, Muleba District of Kagera region. Since then the disease has contributed to decreased household and national food security and income and unreliable livelihood. It has caused great losses of up to 100% in poorly managed banana plantations.