Use of clean seed is important for increasing crop production as well as a key strategy for controlling pests and diseases in vegetatively propagated crops such banana. The decapitation technique is a locally available technology that can enhance farmers’ access to clean seed and to germplasm. It is an innovative low cost method for producing clean banana planting materials at farm level. The technique involves selecting a good sucker from the species of plantain or bananas that you want from a plant that is doing well. Plant sucker, then in 5 to 6 months use a knife to bore a hole to destroy the inner part at the level of the stem. The upper part of the plant will automatically die enabling the stock in the ground to give many suckers. Just in two months your suckers will be ready. One can make a small demonstration farm from where suckers for propagating the suckers are multiplied. The false decapitation can give you up to 15 seedlings and you can always return to the demonstration-propagating farm for suckers.
For successful promotion and adoption of this technology farmers needs to be sensitized about banana farming as a commercial enterprise. Farmers require further sensitization about BXW and its management especially avoiding transmission of the disease through planting materials. There is need for cooperation of the policy makers, NGOs, extensionists, and local leaders in the promotion of the technology.
The decapitation technology is currently being used by small holder farmers in two benchmark sites in Kagera region of the BXW project that was supported by ASARECA and coordinated by Bioversity International. Farmers within the community used the banana planting material generated using this technology to establish new farms or replant in areas devastated by BXW. The dissemination approach that was used to promote this technology was using the dem onstrations as training sites for farmers from within and around the community. The dissemination of the technology was carried at limited scaled on farm but more work was done on station at Maruku and the BTC support. The FFS approach and benchmark site demonstrations can be used to effectively disseminate this technology
The technology on requires land, labour for establishment and maintenance and clean planting material. It was reported that about 20,000 plantlets can be harvested from a hectare of decapitated field annually. Each plantlet was estimated to cost US$ 0.35 and the enterprise can break even in two seasons.
The technology is gender sensitive since both women and men farmers in the banana farming systems are the primary target beneficiaries. The technique of decapitation is user friendly as it’s applied at the base of the banana corm and can be used by women and youth having the knowledge of the meristem site.
Decapitation is a new technology being promoted for banana seed multiplication. The rate of adoption is still low as many farmers are not aware of the techno logy and readily access planting materials from neighbors.
Kill the meristem at 6 months in a process referred to as decapitation. This technique results in sprouting of up to 30 suckers per plant in 3 months and speeds up availability of clean planting materials for replacement of cut mats.
Contact details for further information
P.O. Box 127, Bukoba, Tanzania ,
Telephone: (+255) 0715718322/0784718322
Officer in Charge, ARI-Maruku
P.O Box 127, Bukoba, Tanzania
Tel: +255 754760443,
Mob: +255 714280122,
P.O Box 24384, Kampala
Tel: +256 414 286 213