Farmers urged to plant improved banana varieties

Banana farmers in Murang’a South Sub County have been urged to plant hardened tissue culture banana varieties that were resistant to diseases and also gave better yields.

Area Agricultural Officer (AO), John Waihenya pointed out that most indigenous banana suckers were prone to diseases like panama disease leading to reduced harvests.

“Tissue culture banana planting materials are not only resistant to diseases but they also mature faster,” he said, adding that banana farming was less labor intensive compared to other crops.

Speaking at Gakoigo showground during a farmer’s field day on Monday, Waihenya cautioned farmers against planting banana plants that were severely affected by dry weather season especially this month of January.

The AO said that yields registered by the hardened tissue culture varieties were also better than the indigenous type which was advantageous to the farmer.

He further noted that the region had conducive weather conditions where commercial banana farmers could easily grow their crops.

Waihenya advised farmers to buy seedlings in recommended nurseries premises such as Jomo Kenyatta University nurseries and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO).

He urged farmers to form groups in order to have better bargaining power in the market noting that many of them were currently being exploited by middlemen.

By Muguongo Judy