IITA News

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IITA banana breeder honored at international Musa meeting

On 3 May in Miami, Florida, IITA banana breeder Rony Swennen was honored with a prestigious award by the Association for Cooperation in Research and Integral Development of Banana and Plantains (ACORBAT). The award, which was presented by Dr Jorge Sandoval, President of ACORBAT, recognizes Swennen’s “unquantifiable contributions to the development of Musa research in…

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Picture of Dr Allan Brown, IITA Banana Breeder

Musa project develops hybrids of local Tanzanian cooking banana “Mchare”

The banana breeding team at IITA in partnership with the national research team in Tanzania, has developed hybrids of one of the most popular cooking bananas in Tanzania and part of the East African Highland cooking banana called “Mchare.”

Picture of The three stages of a weevil found in a NARO banana trial field

Lack of biocontrol regulations hinders safe and effective management of Musa pests and diseases

A major thrust to develop and deploy safe and effective biological control methods to manage and reduce crop damage from pests and diseases in banana and enset is under way through MUSA2020, an EU-supported project.

Picture of George Mahuku giving a seminar presentation.

Scientist emphasizes lessons from IITA’s efforts to tackle deadly crop disease outbreaks across the continent

The destructive impact of some of the pest and disease outbreaks witnessed in Africa could have been prevented as agriculture technologies are available to stop their entry, to prevent disease outbreaks in case of entry, and to limit damage to crops in case of establishment.

Ugandan journal says IITA’s breeding efforts to benefit no less than 15,000 farmers

Recently, the NEW VISION journal of Uganda, reported that IITA’s laudable efforts breeding banana with desirable characteristics will benefit at least 15,000 smallholder farmers in the country.

Picture of Rony Swennen explaining the hybrid breeding process that led to NARITA.

IITA-led project on breeding better banana surpasses major targets as it moves into its third year

A team of international banana experts have developed 48 hybrids of Matooke, a popular cooking banana in the highlands of Eastern Africa, that are now under field assessment in Uganda to select those with the highest yields and confirm resistance to four major pests and diseases.

Picture of different varieties of banana abound.

IITA scientists debunk misconceptions about imminent global banana shortage

In an article entitled “Why we should all get off the banana shortage bandwagon” published in the Adjacent Open Access journal of 9 February, IITA researchers Rony Swennen and James Legg said the recent reports of an imminent global banana shortage are overblown and self-serving. According to the report, Panama disease may be a threat…

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Tanzania’s deputy minister applauds joint IITA–University research on cooking banana

Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Technology has praised the collaboration between IITA and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST). Hon Eng. Stella Manyanya who was on a tour of the Pan-African university on 21 January, said that great things happen when academic institutions partner with world class research institutes…

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Congratulations! UK body recognizes IITA

In central Africa, the work of one IITA scientist—Emmanuel Njukwe has received commendation from Industry Insight Monthly—a UK-based organization—and he has subsequently been recognized in its 2017 Farming & Agriculture Awards. The 2017 Farming & Agriculture Awards recognized individuals and institutions working on seed systems. Njukwe leads a team that employs a rigorous propagation technique…

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Picture of a wild banana used in the IITA banana breeding program

IITA scientists cited for their work on battling pests and diseases to save the banana

Two IITA scientists have been cited for their work in helping to eradicate the tropical race 4 disease (TR4) that threatens to destroy the Cavendish banana and the multibillion dollar industry associated with it. In an article entitled Can the Banana be Saved published by the NOVANEXT journal on 3 November, IITA scientists Rony Swennen…

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