Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

Banana diseases hit African crops

CGIAR has warned that supplies in several African countries are under threat because two diseases are attacking bananas. Crops are being damaged from Angola through to Uganda - including many areas where bananas are a staple food. Experts are urging farmers to use pesticides or change to a resistant variety of banana where possible. Scientists have been meeting in Tanzania to decide how to tackle the diseases, which are spread by insects. In a statement CGIAR said ‘drastic and expensive control measures’ were needed. These include ‘completely excavating entire banana fields and treating them with pesticides, or burning the plants’. Experts say the two diseases - bunchy top viral disease and bacterial wilt - are both spread by insects and very few varieties of banana have resistance to them. (Source: BBC News, 27 August 2009)


Barnesa - Banana Research Network for Eastern & Southern Africa: For sustainable increased banana production

Barnesa’s 'super goal' is having an increased contribution of bananas to food security and economic growth within ECA (eastern and central Africa) . Its goal is to contribute to increased and sustainable agricultural productivity in the regionwith the purpose to establish a sustainable commercialized banana sector in the East and Central African region . Barnesa’s strategic objectives are:(1) To promote and support streamlined structure and process of banana marketing systems in the region; (2) To develop/adapt sustainable banana production and utilization technologies addressing key user needs; (3) To enhance capacity for the development/adaption and utilization of banana and banana products; (4) To provide effective co-ordination for collaborative regional banana Research and Development.At its web site the historical background of Barnesa is given as well as its activities, linkages and (regional) partnerships nowadays. Barnesa is an ASARECA (Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa) network coordinated by INIBAP.


Banana Link

Banana Link's website gives information on the many social and environmental issues that affect the banana trade. At the bottom of most pages you will find links to online documents, relevant web pages and documents available to order. New documents, links to websites, and updates of the texts are constantly provided.  


INFOCOMM UNCTAD - Information on banana

INFOCOMM is an international electronic portal in which more than 40 commodity profiles containing practical and added-value information on market structures and innovations will be available. Under 'agricultural products' one will find the section 'information on banana' in which a site map, selected sources of statistics, references, clever links, and partners is presented. The site map is divided into different sub-sections varying from crop characteristics and quality to economic and marketing related issues on bananas and plantains. The portal is a useful first step in the search for all kind of information on bananas and plantains.UNCTAD’s INFOCOMM project - market information in the commodities area - was established to promote market transparency, to improve the understanding of commodity structures and to access to the analysis vital to the formulation of pertinent policies for commodity production, marketing, processing and financing.


AGRIFOR - Musa paradisiacal

AgriFor is a gateway to evaluated, quality Internet resources in agriculture, food and forestry, aimed at students, researchers, academics and practitioners in agriculture, food or forestry. AgriFor is created by a core team of information specialists and subject experts based at the University of Nottingham Greenfield Medical Library, in partnership with key organisations throughout the UK and further afield. This specific link will lead you to an overview of Internet resources on bananas and plantains.


INIBAP- Transit Centre (ITC) - gene bank

The international collection hosted by INIBAP (International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain) at INIBAP Transit Centre (ITC) was established at K.U.Leuven (CatholicUniversity, Leuven, Belgium) in 1984. The ITC obtained an international status in October 2003 by the signing of an international agreement between Belgium and IPGRI (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute). It is also part of the Biodiversity Resources in Belgium. In 1994, the collection was placed under the auspices of FAO and is held in trust by INIBAP for the benefit of the international community. The aim of the gene bank is to conserve all available banana and plantain genetic resources and to supply plant materials to any bona fide users.


INIBAP Technical Guidelines - Routine post-harvest screening of banana/plantain hybrids: criteria and methods

This manual describes the key post-harvest criteria and methods/procedures for routine selection of new Musa hybrids. Most of the methods and procedures described are simple, easy to use and require limited and inexpensive technology (in terms of equipment). The manula is designed to provide useful information to assist breeders and researchers in the post-harvest selection of new Musa hybrids. It is anticipated that the manual would also serve as a useful reference material to others involved in post-harvest research or technology transfer. There are many post-harvest criteria for screening new banana, cooking banana and plantain hybrids, however the major ones include: (1) post-harvest characteristics at harvest; (2) Fruit maturation; (3) Green-life amd shelf-life; (4) Fruit ripening quality; (5) Sensory quality; (6) Cooking or boiling quality; (7) processing quality; (8) mechanical damage; (9) Physiological disorders; (10) Post-harvest diseases. The major post-harvest methods and procedures for routine screening of new Musa hybrids are described in the subsequent chapters. Authors: B.K. Dadzie and J.E. OrchardSource: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute 1997


INIBAP - International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain

INIBAPs mission is to enhance the livelihoods of small-scale Musa producers by working with partners to: (1) conserve, characterize and disseminate genetic diversity; (2) develop (by conventional and molecular methods) superior cultivars and test them with farmers; (3) develop sustainable production systems and identify opportunities for adding post-harvest value; (4) support research-and-development efforts by disseminating information and raising awareness of key issues; (5) assess regional and national needs, develop a coordinated response and encourage the adoption of promising solutions.INIBAP’s web site contains information on the conservation and diversity of Musa; banana and plantain networks around the world; post-harvest use and marketing; and publications.INIBAP was created when a destructive fungal disease of banana, black Sigatoka, was spreading rapidly in Africa and Latin America in the mid-1980s clearly having devastating consequences for the millions of smallholder farmers dependent on banana and plantain for their main staple food. Because of the global nature of banana research, the distinct regional differences and the fragmented nature of ongoing activities, it was decided that the most appropriate strategy was to create a network rather than a research centre. INIBAP was thus created in 1985. Since May 1994, INIBAP is a network of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).INIBAP is, together with IITA and CARBAP, also co-publisher of MusAfrica - The regional newsletter on plantain and banana which is an indispensable source of information for anyone interested in bananas and plantains.


IITA - International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) was founded in 1967 with a mandate for improving food production in the humid tropics and to develop sustainable production systems. It became the first African link in the worldwide network of agricultural research centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). IITA's mission is to enhance the food security, income, and well-being of resource-poor people in sub-Saharan Africa by conducting research and related activities to increase agricultural production, improve food systems, and sustainably manage natural resources, in partnership with national and international stakeholders. IITA conducts research, germplasm conservation, training, and information exchange activities in partnership with regional bodies and national programs including universities, NGOs, and the private sector. Research focuses on smallholder cropping and post-harvest systems and on the following food crops: cassava, cowpea, maize, plantain and banana, soybean, and yam. At its website one finds under 'crop and farming systems' a section fully dedicated to banana and plantain.