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.

 

Due to this threat, various interventions have been done in some districts of Kagera region to curb the disease. One of these interventions include “Enhancing Farmers’ Knowledge for Sustainable Management of Bacterial Exanothomonas Wilt (BXW) in Muleba, Misenyi and Karagwe Districts of Kagera Region, Tanzania” funded by FAO. The results of the above intervention shows that the disease incidence has dropped to less than 25% in Rugu ward of Karagwe District as the result of seriousness of local leaders to take punitive measures to people who violate the by-laws. Following such achievements of the former projects, the proposed project will thus, adopt and up-scale most of these achievements to other areas of the region starting with Nshamba and Rubale Divisions as the pilot area (For more information refer the full document in Annex 1).