Effects of banana bacteria wilt disease (BBW) on banana production and people’s livelihoods in Eastern Division Sub-county Rukungiri District
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Bananas are a major food crop, with Uganda as the second largest producer in the world and largest producer in Africa. Bananas provide food all year round and are regarded as a staple food in Great Lakes Region and a source of income for millions of people. Despite the significance of banana for food security and income, the crop has been threatened by Banana bacteria wilt (BBW) disease due to great losses it causes whereby it has reduced banana production by 30-50% in affected districts leading to increase in banana prices, poverty and hunger. The study was conducted in Eastern Division Rukungiri district on 100 farmers and majorly aimed at assessing the effects of BBW on banana production and peoples’ livelihoods. The study found out that before the outbreak of BBW, average banana production per farmer was 571.68 bunches per annum but after the outbreak of BBW it decreased to 239.04 (41.8%) bunchess. The average income from banana production per farmer also reduced from 2,723,400 shillings per annum to 1,199,400 shillings. A paired t-test was used to compare bunches of bananas produced and income earned before BBW and found out that there was a significant difference at p-value = 0.00. Therefore the study recommends the government to recruit more extension workers to help in alleviation of this problem in the area. The farmers should be encouraged to put into practice management and control measures of BBW disease so as to minimize its effects.