Tanzania’s traditional cooking banana yields more than expected!
The yield potential of an important cooking banana in Tanzania, known as Mchare, has exceeded expectations! Yields of up to 51 t/ha/year were obtained by the study team.
Mchare, alongside Uganda’s “Matooke” is one of the East Africa Highland (EAHB) bananas that are cultivated both for food and income by millions of smallholder farmers in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. However, their yields are extremely low with farmers getting as little as 7 t/ha/year. This is primarily caused by low soil fertility due to continuous production without replenishing nutrients.
The study team, drawn from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Tanzania, in collaboration with KU Leuven University, Belgium, and IITA established the yield potential of Mchare following a 3-year study in different agroecological environments across the Pangani District of Tanga Region, Tanzania.