Plantains and banana: progress in breeding and delivering improved plantain and banana to African farmers

  • Authors : Tenkouano, A.; Swennen, R.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2004

  • Journal title : Chronica Horticulturae

  • Volume (number) : 44 (1)

  • Pages : 9-15

  • Peer-reviewed : No

  • ISSN : 0578-039X

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : The IITA carries out plantain and banana improvement research with three predominant themes: advancement of breeding methodologies to increase the efficiency of hybrid development in plantains and East African Highland bananas, development of superior bananas, and technology transfer and human resource development in sub-Saharan Africa. This research agenda is largely implemented in partnership with KULeuven in the framework of the Strategic Musa Improvement Project funded by the Diredorate General for Development and Cooperation of the Government of Belgium. IITA also collaborates with JIC with financial support from the GCF, United Kingdom. Additional support for this agenda is provided by the USAID. Contributions to this agenda were also provided by other research institutions such as CARBAP-Cameroon and FHIA-Honduras while advantage is taken of the networking schemes provided by IPGRI through its International Network for Improvement of Banana and Plantain program. Over the past few years, scientific advances in understanding the Musa genomes and their interaction in producing hybrids of the various post-harvest utilization classes have been achieved while enhancing breeding efficiency through a successful combination of quantitative genetics and molecular and cytological techniques. In-vitro DNA manipulation methodologies have been developed to facilitate incorporation of resistance to diseases and pests into genotypes that are intractable to conventional cross-breeding, with particular focus on black Sigatoka, nematodes, and banana streak virus. Hybrid delivery projects to farmers are now possible and have started in several countries in sub-Saharan African to distribute, in collaboration with NGO. The most promising improved varieties of banana and plantain are distributed along with technology packages allowing for rapid farmer-to-farmer spread of the varieties and income generation through value adding processing of the fruits.


  • Open access : Yes

  • Document on publisher's site : open View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN040188

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