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The Banana Xanthomonas Pandemic in Tanzania
BXW in Tanzania was officially reported in January 2006 (Mgenzi et al 2006). The disease is in Muleba (7 wards), Karagwe (4 wards), Bukoba (2 wards) and Biharamulo (2 wards). Until present, about 41,000 banana plants have been uprooted (Mgenzi and Eden-Green, 2006) and some new cases of the disease still appearing mainly in Muleba, Karagwe and Biharamulo. Farmers communally uprooted all infected plants and are continuing to monitor the new cases and uprooting them.

Activities done
  • Sensitization activities were done to some farmers addressing the removal of male buds and avoidance of transporting of all banana plant parts from the infected areas to non-infected areas. 
  • A workshop was convened to discuss on BXW and activities to be done 
  • Training of some agriculture extension staffs about the disease was done in Kagera region 
  • Some leaflets were made about recognition and control of the disease 
  • A BXW training videotape in Swahili was made 
  • Radio and TV programs were used to create awareness of BXW to the public 
  • The census was done in all banana growing village s of Kagera region to determine the extent of damage caused by the disease 
  • The disease plant samples were sent to CABI and the pathogen identified

Some of the above activities need to be scaled out and some new activities to begin. 

  • The situation now is that the disease is further distributed through farm tools. Farmers and banana traders are continuously using tools from one plot to the next. In addition, farmers are using the same tools for removing the infected plants and at the same time working on the clean plants. This requires further sensitization and training on the mode of transmission and how to manage bananas in the plots with infected plants. 
  • The leaflets that were made were few and more copies are still needed. 
  • Radio and TV programs need to be prepared and aired for extended period 
  • The census needs to be done in Kigoma region 
  • Mapping of the disease need to be done by using the GPS equipment

    With respect to BXW wilt disease, the work should cover the whole of Kagera and Kigoma regions. This follows the way the disease is spreading in a haphazard manner. It is not consistently happening therefore avoidance and control messages should cover all banana growing areas.

    Phytosanitary and quarantine measures need to be addressed using the policy makers and local leaders.
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