SLU news

Study on banana and potato diseases helps to improve food security in Rwanda

Published: 05 June 2019

On 29 May, Florence Uwamahoro from the University of Rwanda successfully defended her doctoral thesis at SLU. The project was a comparative study of the potato and banana bacterial wilt pathosystems of Rwanda.

Banana and potato are important food and cash crops worldwide as they contribute to food security and income generation for farmers. Despite their importance, banana and potato do not reach their potential production due to a number of limitations, including pests and diseases. Little is known about these diseases and the aim of this study was to investigate the biology, risk factors and farmers’ awareness of banana xanthomonas wilt and potato bacterial wilt and how they affect disease occurrence in Rwanda. Surveys revealed that both diseases were present in major and minor growing areas for potato and banana.

The studies have improved the understanding of banana xanthomonas wilt and potato bacterial wilt in Rwanda, and provided important insights towards development and communication of sustainable management approach for the diseases, which in turn will improve food security in the country.

The thesis "Banana xanthomonas wilt and potato bacterial wilt in Rwanda: Biology, risk factors and farmer´s awareness" can be downloaded here.

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