Item Details

Title: Banana (Musa spp.) Production Characteristics and Performance in Uganda

Date Published: 2010
Author/s: F. Bagamba, K. Burger and W.K. Tushemereirwe
Data publication:
Funding Agency : Rockefeller Foundation and INREF
Copyright/patents/trade marks: ISHS
Journal Publisher: Acta Horticulturae- ISHS
Affiliation: National Banana Research Programme, Kawanda, National Agricultural Research
Organization (NARO), P.O. Box 7065, Kampala, Uganda 2
Development Economics Leeuwenborch Hollandseweg 1 6706 KN Wageningen, the
Netherlands; 3
Current Address: Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: cooking banana, farm gate price, food price, food security


The highland cooking banana (Musa spp., AAA-EA genome) is the most
important crop in the East African Great Lakes region. In Uganda, production has
expanded and productivity increased in the country’s southwest and declined in the
Central region where the crop has traditional roots. Analyzing crop characteristics
and performance was imperative to elucidate the factors that have contributed to
this change. Performance analysis helps to inform possible investment policies and
strategies in the banana subsector for both regions. The study was carried out in
central and southwest regions of the country, which have divergent production
constraints and opportunities. Changes in economic conditions appear to have
contributed to the shift in banana production from the central to the southwest.
Specifically, increase in nonfarm-farm income in the central region reduced
farmers’ need for cash income generated from farm production. On the other hand,
high food prices increased farmers’ need to rely on own farm production for
household needs. There was a shift in resource allocation in favor of crops most
suited to satisfying household food needs (e.g., sweet potato (Lpomoea batatas),
cassava (Manihot esculenta) and beans (Phaseolus spp.) against crops that appear to
be more profitable (e.g., bananas) when valued at farm-gate prices. In the southwest,
farmers adopted technologies and crop activities that were relatively more labor
demanding but more rewarding in terms of cash benefits. Specifically, bananas were
adopted because they satisfied both the cash needs and food requirements of the
farmers. However, a significant proportion of land (not suited to banana production) in the southwest (15.4%) is committed to finger millet (Eleusine coracana) production to supplement bananas in terms of food security.