Eastern Province Banana plantations hit by disease

RWAMAGANA - Bacterial wilt commonly known as Kirabiranya is threatening banana production in most districts of Eastern Province, except Bugesera.  According to Innocent Musabimana, the Deputy Director General, Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), the recurrent disease outbreak was due to negligence of the local leaders and farmers.
Banana production in the Eastern province will be affected by the disease. (Courtesy photo)
Banana production in the Eastern province will be affected by the disease. (Courtesy photo)

RWAMAGANA - Bacterial wilt commonly known as Kirabiranya is threatening banana production in most districts of Eastern Province, except Bugesera.

According to Innocent Musabimana, the Deputy Director General, Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), the recurrent disease outbreak was due to negligence of the local leaders and farmers.

He said that a special week has been designated to raise awareness about the disease in all districts of the Province.

“The disease can be spread by farm tools or through air and bird pollination...it is as dangerous as that. It is upon farmers and local leaders to get committed to stop the spread of the disease.”

Musabimana added that specialists are on ground to help farmers uproot infected plants.

He, however, advised that farmers should learn to recognise and watch out for signs of the disease.

“Some farmers were not even aware that their banana plants were infected. Gasanda sector of Ngoma district thought it was safe until recently, so the campaign continues,” he said.

Pierre Celestin Mukeshimana, the District Agriculture officer Rwamagana, lamented the effect caused by the wilt so far.

“Bacterial wilt poses a significant threat to banana production in our district. At least over 17 hectares are infected in Rwamagana district alone. We are dealing with farmers to check the disease,” he said.

Birikimasi Hakizimana, a banana farmer in Fumbwe sector said that the disease caused great losses to many farmers.

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