Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Home Farming Tips How To Control Banana Pests And Diseases  

How To Control Banana Pests And Diseases  

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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Banana Weevil

This is the most devastating banana insect pest in the eastern Africa region, Uganda inclusive. Damage is worst in neglected plots.

The weevil lives, feeds and breeds in pseudo-stems for periods up to two years. It lays eggs against the sides of the stems.

After hatching the larvae burrow into pseudo-stems thereby weakening them and making them liable to wind damage.

Methods of control

  • Selection of planting material from uninfected stools;
  • Dipping planting material in dieldrin solution;
  • Chopping up old stems longitudinally and covering their bases with soil and encouraging healthy growth by pruning/desuckering and mulching;
  • Spreading dieldrin dust around infected stools;
  • Laying traps of pieces of stem that have been cut in half longitudinally and treated with dieldrin dust.

Panama disease

This is a fungus disease which has caused widespread damage in the former Ankole district of Uganda.

Symptoms: Yellowing of lower leaves which later hang downwards, a purple discoloration of the vascular tissue inside the stems and rhizomes.

Control: is by use of resistant banana varieties, for example some of the cooking various and dwarf Cavendish. Planting material should not be taken from an infected area to an uninfected one.

Cigar end rot

This is also a fungus disease that makes the tips of fruits (banana fingers) look like the ash on the end of a cigar, hence the name.

Main damage occurs in areas which are minimally suitable for banana cultivation. The disease can be controlled by removing the ends of the inflorescence beyond the developing fruits.

Control: Remove male bud with a forked stick immediately last cluster has formed Use clean planting materials and disinfect tools with fire or JIK.

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