Xanthomonas campestris pv.musacrearum causes Banana wilt
disease (BXW disease) which 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 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 area of ECA.