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Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Planning, Finance and Administration Prof. Charles Lugomela urged that Banana is a staple food crop and a key source of income supporting the livelihoods of millions of small holder farmers in Sub- Saharan Africa.

Prof. Lugomela said that on 23rd May, 2022 during a workshop of Accelerated Breeding of Better Bananas Project led by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with aims to deliver improved ,disease resistance ,high- yielding cooking banana varieties to framers across the region.

The project works with the national banana breeding programs in Tanzania and Uganda, focused on East Africa Highland banana (EAHB) or Matooke and Mchare. Pests and diseases are particularly damaging to yields in East Africa.

In Tanzania and Uganda, banana is a staple and major source of income for millions of smallholder farmers. These two countries alone produce over half of all bananas grown in Africa, with an annual value of US$4.3 billion. However, farmers are producing a mere fraction of what is possible, mostly due to attack by pests and diseases and the use of local, low-yielding varieties. New, high-yielding pest and disease-resistant varieties bred conventionally will make a significant difference in reducing this huge yield gap

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