1National Agricultural Laboratories Research Institute, P. O. Box: 7084, Kampala, Uganda.
2University of Nairobi, P. O. Box: 30197, Nairobi, Kenya.
3Catholic University of Graben, Beni, Butembo, DR Congo.
4Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, P. O. Box: 57811-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
5Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa, P. O. Box: 765, Entebbe, Uganda.
Xanthomonas campestris pv.musacrearum causes Banana wilt disease (BXW disease) which occurs at different epidemic phases in East and Central Africa (ECA). In the endemic areas, there are many banana fields with over 80% BXW disease incidence. This study aimed at rehabilitating banana fields heavily infected with BXW disease in Uganda, Kenya and DR. Congo. Farmer managed trials were established in BXW disease hotspots in western Kenya and DR. Congo, while in Uganda, similar trials were established at community level i.e. clusters of at least 200 heavily infected banana fields. The control options evaluated included single stem removal, suspension of pruning in affected fields, male bud removal and disinfection of tools with fire or Sodium hypochlorite. Data was collected on the proportion of affected fields (BXW disease prevalence), BXW disease incidence and the number of banana bunches sold at 3-month intervals. BXW disease incidence was reduced by over 80% in 11 months in Kenya and DR. Congo, resulting in yield recovery by up to 70% within one year. In Uganda, the proportion of farmers that effectively controlled BXW disease increased 5% to 60% within a year in some hotspots. Consequently banana sales recovered up to 30% in some hotspots. This study demonstrates that it is possible to effectively control BXW disease within 12 months in previously severely infected fields in various areas of ECA.