Bananas and plantains are major food crops in developing countries. They are widely grown across the world’s tropical regions. They are also important export crop to industrial countries. The fruits are highly nutritious, containing large amounts of carbohydrates and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium as well as vitamins A and C. They are also important sources of revenue for many small-scale farmers.
The major pests to production are the banana weevil and parasitic nematodes. Our scientists have been working on developing and introducing new varieties that are high yielding, drought-resistant, disease- and pest-resistant, and have durable fruit quality. Our researchers have also developed and are promoting hot water treatment to rid plants of nematodes, so as to produce clean planting materials and reduce the spread of nematodes.