The livelihoods of millions of banana farmers in East and Central Africa have been threatened by the devastating epidemic of banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum. The disease is widespread and has been reported in East and Central Africa. The economic impact of the disease emanates from loss of yield and cost of control measures. All banana cultivars grown in the region are susceptible to BXW and no source of resistance has been identified. Cultural interventions are therefore the most practical and recommended practices for BXW control. A number of approaches: farmer field schools, community action, going public and top-down conventional approaches (traning of trainers, mass media and posters) have been used to mobilize stakeholders in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo. Different approaches have been used in different countries with varied success in controlling BXW. This review discusses approaches, which have been successfully used in the management of BXW in some areas of East and Central Africa with a view of evaluating them individually or in combination under local conditions. This hopefully will help scale-out the promising approaches and contribute to more effective BXW control in the region.
Key words: Banana Xanthomonas wilt, disease management approaches, Eastern and Central Africa.
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