Rwamagana - Bananas, a popular fruit in Rwanda, is under threat. A fast spreading wilt has hit banana plantations in Eastern Province where it is one of the main food crops.
Josiane Kalisoni Irankunda, the Rwanda Agriculture Development Authority (RADA), blames the outbreak of the disease on poor farming methods, like planting several crops in banana plantations.
“Gatsibo and Nyagatare are the most affected districts”, reported Irankunda .“We need the role of all stakeholders to contain the disease and minimize its impact on the banana farms.”
She added that the wilt, called Bacterial Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), needs serious control measures, because it is more destructive than any other diseases that are endemic in banana growing industry.
Jusuf Mugiraneza, the Executive Secretary of the province challenged agriculture officers to remain vigilant with farmers so as to check the disease spread.
“How can an agriculture officer do his duties exclusively in office? This explains why epidemic diseases are destroying bananas. We are not going to tolerate such behaviors,” he warned.
Stakeholders, met at the Provincial headquarters, agreed to launch a robust campaign to combat the disease.