Building on past successes

Past breeding efforts by NARO, Uganda in collaboration with IITA successfully developed the first ever hybrids of the East African Highland Banana that were named NARITA http://www.promusa.org/NARITA+hybrids. Currently there are 27 NARITAs, two of which were formally released as new cultivars in 2010 by NARO and are so far being grown in 15% of the banana farms in Uganda. Under this project, many of these NARITA’s will be tested and promoted across the region for suitability and acceptance by farmers.
The project will conduct studies to understand the genetic make-up and diversity of existing banana cultivars to identify sources of resistance to the major pests and diseases. This will be complemented by studies to understand the spread and damage caused by these pests and diseases towards development and application of quick diagnostic tools and faster screening mechanisms to assess for resistance.
This project will also facilitate the exchange of genetic material with breeding programs across continents, therefore establishing the foundations of a globally connected Musa breeding system. The exchange will provide this project with access to improved diploid banana hybrids for crossing with Matooke and Mchare germplasm.
This project will be conducted within the framework of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB).

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