Uganda worried about banana yields

Banana farmers in Kabarole district are concerned about the decline in Banana yield from an average of 1332 per acre per annum to 702 bunches per acre, per annum in the last one and half years.

Farmers attribute the decline to limited land, lack of access to improved breeds and inadequate information on banana production. The district successfully controlled the spread of the banana bacterial wilt disease which was a major constraint to banana production.

Felix Magezi, a farmer in Busoro Sub County says banana production is no longer a profitable venture. He says that although he produces bananas on two acres of land, the income he fetches is not enough to fetch him money to educate his children and live a comfortable life.

Mariam Agaba, another farmer says they need high-yielding varieties to be able to increase production and improve yields. She however says the varieties are costly for the ordinary farmers to afford.

Enock Musinguzi, the chairperson of Kabarole District Farmers Association faults the district local government for negating its responsibility and failing to provide information that farmers require to improve production.

He explains that majority of the farmers do not have access to information on how to mulch, weed and use the right organic content on their farms.

Musinguzi says most farmers use organic content that is lower than the three per cent recommended level, a development which greatly affects banana production.

But Amos Mugume, the Kabarole District Production Coordinator encourages farmers to form groups through which they can acquire credit services and purchase improved farming technologies.

Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas after India. More than 75% of all farmers grow bananas in different parts of the country.