SPEECH BY H.E. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI
It is my pleasure to be part of this important conference whose theme is Banana and Plantain in Africa: Harnessing International Partnerships to Increase Research Impact. I am pleased to note the overarching goal of this conference is aimed at the commercialization of banana production across Africa. I wish to thank the organizers of this conference: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in partnership with Bioversity International, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). This conference is uniquely important because of its focus on laying strategies for improving production, research impact and commercialization of the banana crop. Bananas form a very important commodity as a staple food, source of income and employment for many developing countries not only in Africa but also in Central America, the Caribbean and the tropical regions of Asia. However, while Africa has a higher potential of producing the crop, and therefore a competitive advantage over her counterparts in Asia, America and the Caribbean, banana producing countries hardly feature in international trade. The banana production and business has for a long time been concentrated at local, and to a small extent, regional level. Uganda produces 9.9 million metric tons of bananas, which is 33% of the worlds total production making it the second largest producer of bananas in the whole world after India. The crop covers 1.6 million hectares of land, which is 37% of the farm land in Uganda.
Yoweri Kaguta Musevenit, H.E. (2010). SPEECH BY H.E. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI. Acta Hortic. 879, 49-50