Banana farmers in Kamonyi district have on Friday said that the system of macro-propagation helped them enough to produce healthy bananas.
The initiative was incepted by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in partnership with Kamonyi district authorities to fight against banana diseases and poor production.
IITA is one of the world's leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
Dr. Emmanuel Njukwe, the Agronomist, Researcher and IITA country representative explained to farmers that Macro-propagation techniques rely on the repression of apical dominance to enhance mass-propagation.
He said that, in a banana or plantain plant, before flowering sets in, the development of lateral buds is repressed by apical dominance of the prevailing mother plant.
The system improved livelihoods as farmers and local authorities in Kamonyi said.
Mayor Aimable Udahemuka
Kamonyi District Mayor Aimable Udahemuka said that the initiative since incepted in the district has improved a lot on banana production as farmers can now harvest healthy and big bananas due to the macro-propagation system.
The technique requires a suitable area for a propagation facility and should be easily accessible, relatively level land with appropriate drainage and should have adequate water supply.
The mother gardens should be established with healthy planting material from tissue culture for the production of suckers.
Propagators are humidity chambers which provide the appropriate environment for sprouting of suckers. Propagator can be any size suitable for the volume of plants envisaged. For easy manipulation, propagators should be about 2m long, 1m wide and 1.2-1.5m high.
Edourd Habinshuti (Banana's farmer)
Edouard Habinshuti, one of beneficiaries of the system thanked Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) to provide them with banana plantlets that gave a good harvest together with macro-propagation system.
Habinshuti said due to the system which helped him in increasing banana production, he was able to build a residence house and tackle financial issues for his family.
Reported by Faustin G