|Workshop participants posing with their certificates at the end of the five-day training on banana production techniques and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)|
IITA conducted a training on banana production techniques and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Burundi as part of its on-going efforts to boost production of this key staple crop through technology transfer and technical backstopping to the Programme Post conflit de Development Rural (PPCDR) project that is funded by the European Union (EU).
The training, held from the 11th to 15th June 2012 in Ruyigi, Burundi, attracted 39 participants drawn from the zonal animators of PPCDR, farmers' associations, the Agriculture ministry MINAGRIE (Ministere de l'Agriculture et de l'Elevage), seed production centers and extension officers from Cankuzo, Kirundo, Rutana, Ruyigi and Muyinga provinces.
The training had six modules: banana morphology, the economic importance of banana, banana production systems, banana management practices and IPM, rapid and healthy banana planting material production methods and banana field data collection.
During the training, the participants were grouped in their respective provinces and they developed proposals on sustainable approaches to control banana xanthomonas wilt (BXW) and banana bunchy top disease (BBTD).
The training ended with a field visit to identify banana pests, diseases and nutrients deficiency symptoms in surrounding farmer's fields. It was facilitated by Sylvestre Hakizimana of IITA with technical support from Emmanuel Njukwe, the IITA project manager.
Emmanuel Njukwe, the IITA project manager said the participants now had the technical know-how to manage banana mother gardens established in their respective provinces and macro-propagation units which will be installed in each site to rapidly produce clean banana planting material for farmers to stop the spread of the two deadly diseases, BXW and BBTD.