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Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) In Uganda
BXW in Uganda was first reported in October 2001. In 5 years BXW spread rapidly through all the central districts of Uganda and is threatening production in the major banana producing districts. The disease is now confirmed in 35 districts. All banana cultivars in affected areas are susceptible however incidence in juice/ beer bananas has been reported to be higher than in cooking bananas. Potential national loss, if the disease is not controlled is estimated at $ 4b by 2010. In order to fight BXW, MAAIF established a steering committee to guide the implementation of the BXW strategy. The steering committee is made up of different working groups that bring together a number of stakeholders i.e. donors NGOs, government institutions and agricultural research institutions. The response strategies that have been used include protecting unaffected areas; halting disease in frontline areas and dissemination of clean planting material and the use of participatory development communication tools (brochures, videos, posters, calendars) in the endemic zones. A number of interventions to control BXW have been concentrated in the threatened (1st priority) and frontline districts (2nd priority) with just a few in the endemic areas (3rd priority areas) due to limitation of funds. It has been noted that more effort is still required in the endemic areas to strengthen on- going efforts by scaling out. C3P therefore plans on targeting its interventions in the endemic areas. Other criteria for choosing target areas include importance of the banana as a staple and food security crop; presence of a strong partner with grass roots network and experience in multiplication and dissemination of planting material as well as proximity to the endemic areas. The districts of Mukono, Kayunga, Luwero and Mbale are thus selected because they are severely endemic , have a strong NGO participation and are important banana growers (National Banana Research programme, 2005). CARITAS Kasaana- Luwero, CARITAS Lugazi and World Vision are present in these areas and will be the implementing partners of the project. The strategies that C3P will employ will include: awareness building on how to cope with the disease followed by dissemination of clean planting material; intensive de-budding and rouging of affected plants; promotion and dissemination of participatory development communication tools and use of other communication channels.
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