Effectiveness of cultural methods in controlling banana bacterial wilt in isingiro district
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Xanthomonas Wilt commonly known as banana bacterial wilt is caused by Xanthomonas Campestris Pv. It was first reported in Ethiopia on Ensete Vetricosum in 1968. And it was first reported in 2005 in southwestern Uganda, the region that produces more than 60% of Uganda’s banana annually. Banana is a key crop in Ugana supporting both rural and urban populations. It is estimated that over 75% of the country’s farmers grow bananas on 1.5 million hectares on equivalent of 38% of the total land under crops (Nowankunda and Tushemereirwe 2004). However due to Xanthomonas wilt, Uganda stands to lose an estimated US$ 295 millions worth of banana output valued at farm gate prices. This study assessed the effectiveness of cultural methods used by farmers tocontrol banana bacterial wilt. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection. Simple random sampling was used to draw a sample from farmers living in Bubaare, Maboona, Rwanyamahembe and Rwenkuuba. Interviews, questionnaires and observations were used to gather data and the data obtained was analyzed and a highest proportion of farmers (78.1%) removed only the infected plant as the commonest method used and only 21.9% uprooted the whole material. In addition to that, a high proportion of farmers (75.63%) noted that the cultural methods when used in combination were effective and controlled the disease in most plantations. However, the cultural control methods can not be reliable given evidence suggests resurgence of the disease in some plantations. Therefore the development of a disease resistant cultivar would provide a long term solution. The documentation of effectiveness of these cultural methods will contribute to research and efforts needed in providing a permanent remedy for controlling banana bacterial wilt.