Abstracted from the IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Network) news feed of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Central and Eastern Africa Weekly Round-up 337 for 24-30 June 2006.
Food security in Burundi is under threat due to fears that an incurable banana disease, which has already been reported in several neighboring countries, could sweep across the nation, an official of an agricultural research institute said.
“Worst of all, the bacterial disease attacks all varieties of banana crops,” said Melchior Nahimana, the director-general of the Livestock and Agricultural Research Institute of the Great Lakes in the central province of Gitega. Banana is one of Burundi’s main subsistence crops; cassava is the staple.
“It’s an alert that we are making, and the most endangered areas to be affected first are provinces located on the border with the DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania,” Nahimana said. Full story at: [www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=54307]
Note from ECHO: The causative agent is Xanthomonas campestris pv. Musacearum. This disease has been known in Ethiopia as a wilt of Ensete (Ensete ventricosum) and was first identified in Uganda in late 2001.
Other links: www.inibap.org/pdf/uganda.pdf and www.bspp.org.uk/ndr/july2004/2004-44.asp
ECHO Staff 2006. Banana Wilt Disease in East Africa. ECHO Development Notes no. 93