Banana Xanthomas Wilt in DRC
Following the example of cassava, banana plays a key role for the food security of North Kivu households. It is the basic food for the population and is consumed
in various ways: as a fruit for cooking (the sweet type), as a dessert (ripe banana),
as a local drink (banana juice and banana wine), banana wheat (Nchimba) which is
very nourishing and recommended for diabetes patients, and elderly and for babies.
The BXW which affecting the banana tree appeared in the North Kivu province since
2001, more specifically in the territory of Masisi, collectivity of Bashali, locality
of Kitchaga, on the Bwerere hills.
Upon being discovered in 2001, the disease spread over a radius of 5 km. The situation
of its propagation as in May 2006 shows that the disease has spread over a radius
of 50 km, Kitchanga being considered as the epicenter of the disease.
Therefore, the disease has affected the collectivity of Bashali and is currently
affecting the collectivity of Oslo in the territory of Masisi and the collectivity
of Bwito in the Rutshuru territory.
Unlike for cassava, research has not as yet developed BXW resistant varieties. The
impact of the disease is hence very negative on the socio economic life of the population.
The banana production has collapsed from 20 tons per ha per year to zero ton per
ha per year (source: Provincial Inspectorate of the Ministry of Agriculture). Expected
revenues fell from $1600 per ha per year to $0 per ha per year (source: idem)