Members from the Government and CSO’s in the Rwenzori region held a stake holders meeting to find the way forward on soil fertility and banana productivity in the region. The meeting was held at Kagote SDA church hall in Kabarole Municipality. Participants were drawn from Districts of Kasese, Kabarole, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo who included NAADS coordinators District Agricultural officer and Agricultural extension workers. Other was CSO’s working in these districts and RIC-NET was represented by the Community Outreach Officer.
The objectives of the meeting were; to characterize indigenous knowledge on banana management likely to influence banana yield, factors affecting agronomic practice of banana production, identify the effective sources of social capital to diffuse banana technology, develop a strategy that can enhance banana production in the region and highlight key policy issues that would require urgent intervention.
During the discussion the findings were that the region has fertile soils to support production, but management is limiting factor leading to poor disease and pest control,89.9% reported pest and diseases,43% of farmers reported Banana Bacterial will while 23%reported Banana weavil,there is poor attitude of farmers towards banana management form other enterprises like cocoa,maize,coffe and cotton, there is low access to technical information that that 32%of farmers access information while 68% do not really access information. However these farmers are complex and should be helped in the complex manner.
It was identified that the region has good fertile soils but has been hit by banana bacterial wilt which had affected banana production. A research had been conducted and found out that most people in the region at least eat Matooke a day. It was thus resolved that, Banana production be taken serious as an economic activity and be popularized like other cash crops. Market information should be availed to the farmers; Some NGO’s like KRC had conducted research and end up nowhere, because of lack of coordinated effort towards helping the farmers. The government department of agriculture should work closely with the CSO’s and other NGO’s to provide information to the farmers.