6 February 2013

Tanzania: Banana Wilt Wipes Out Farms in Kagera

Dodoma — GOVERNMENT will set aside funds for the campaign of eliminating Banana Bacterial Wilt (BBW) which has badly affected farms and gardens in Kagera region and neighbouring areas.

In a separate incident an evaluation undertaken by government shows that about 8,866 people in 15 villages in the region now need food support of at least 266 tonnes between now and April.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Mr Adam Malima told Parliament that, over 80 per cent of the residents in the region are now aware of BBW symptoms and are advised to follow experts advises to contain it.

"We have already received an evaluation on emergency food support to residents now facing hunger and we are working on it in collaboration with the disaster department at the Prime Minister's Office," he said.

He said some of the measures suggested by experts at Maruku Research Centre include farmers once detecting BBW to immediately uproot and destroy all affected banana plants to avoid recurrent infections.

Mr Malima was responding to a question by Charles Mwijage (Muleba East, CCM) who put government to task to apply what he called scientific approaches in eliminating the vice. Earlier on, Mr Mwijage demanded more explanation on why government was hesitant to conduct a study tour in Uganda and Burundi on reasons the countries have moved several steps ahead in dealing with the problem.

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