J.K. Kwach, S. Makworo, O. Nasambu, M. Onyango
Kisii is a leading banana producing region in Kenya with an average farmer production of 17 t ha-1 while the national farmer average production is 12 t ha-1. This yield however is still below the potential yield (60 t ha-1). From several participatory rural appraisals ( PRA) conducted in Kisii, two dessert cultivars, East African Highland banana Amatoke (AAA) and Apple Banana (AB), are predominantly grown by farmers. These cultivars are low yielding and susceptible to diseases and pests. A study was therefore carried out at Kisii to assess high yielding cultivars that are tolerant to pests and diseases for both local consumption and export. Five exotic banana (AAA) cultivars (Valery, Lacatan, Giant Cavendish, Dwarf Cavendish, Green-Red) and two local checks (Amatoke and Apple Banana) were field-tested between 1990 and 1993. The bananas were harvested in three cycles to evaluate their production. Results indicate that the exotic cultivars had higher yields than the local checks grown by the farmers. Green-Red (193 t ha-1) out yielded all material tested in this experiment, while Giant and Dwarf Cavendish, Lacatan, Valery, Amatoke yielded a total of 165, 148, 144, 132, and 115 t ha-1 after the plant crop and two ratoons. The yields of these cultivars were similar but significantly higher than that of Apple Banana (a total 71.5 t ha-1 for plant crop and two ratoons). The two local checks had a shorter average cycle period (17-24 months) while the exotic cultivars needed 18 to 32 months. Cigar end rot disease (Verticullium theobromea) was observed on Dwarf Cavendish, while Lacatan was noted to require propping to avoid wind damage. From 1990 to 1994, these exotic cultivars were introduced to various farming groups, namely: primary schools, training institutions and farmers themselves. The farmers preferred Valery and Giant Cavendish as good cultivars because of their yield, taste and strong pseudostems, which do not require propping
Kwach, J.K., Makworo, S., Nasambu, O. and Onyango, M. (2000). PERFORMANCE OF BANANA CULTIVARS IN SOUTH WESTERN KENYA. Acta Hortic. 540, 239-246
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2000.540.27

Acta Horticulturae