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October 24, 2020

Science Cast

Bridging the gap between Scientists and the Public

Organic control of Banana cigar end rot

2 min read

Banana plant is one of the most important crop in Africa the crop is a staple food in most East Africa countries a good example is Uganda, its also a good export for farmers that facilitating international trade. However, there are constraints that hinder production of this valuable crop that might be a threat to food security if not safety.

One such threat is the cigar end rot, a fungal disease caused by verticillium theobromae and Trachysphaera fructigena pathogen which attacks fruits of Muraru (AAA), Cavendish(AA) and Gros Michel banana varieties, it affects them both in the field and after harvest. The occurrence of this disease has increased over the past since farmers simply fail to follow proper management techniques resulting in huge losses of their produce and rejection in the market.

How is Cigar end rot transmitted

The disease development Is favored with worm moist conditions, rainy seasons and plantations with lots of shade, the fungus spore of cigar end rot is spread by rain splashes, wind to immature banana fingers through flower leading to development of dry rot. The pathogen spreads slowly from the tip as the fingers grow causing the top peels to go black

Symptoms of banana Cigar end rot

Black skin spreading from the tip to other parts of the immature fingers
Infected fingers later are covered with a powdery mass of spores that are grey.
The whole finger can rot if the emerging fingers are infected.

Management of Cigar end rot

These article advocates for organic management and treatments as chemicals are a great threat to our environment and is of great concern when it comes to human health
• Farmers should use healthy, disease-free and resistant varieties example of resistant varieties are East African Highland banana and Sukali ndisi these two varieties are not affected by the disease
• Infected fingers should be removed and burnt no buried
• Farmer maintain Field hygiene by removing dead and hanging leaves
• Avoid overcrowding of bananas plants by removing some of them to allow good airflow in the farm
• Room for keeping harvested bunch should be cleaned and disinfected to reduce chances of infections after harvest
• Remove flowers that do not change into fingers once other fingers emerge
• Use plastic bags or a suitable improvised bag to protect banana fruits from rain
• Avoid causing injuries on the crop tissues when working on the field

Organic Control

  • Use spray based baking soda
  • Spray soda helps farmer get better results by dislodging as many fungal spores as possible
  • It can be used as preventive or treatment when the first signs of the disease are observed
  • How baking soda spray made
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon of baking soda if you do not have tablespoons you can use teaspoons (3 teaspoons make one tablespoon)
  • Measure 2 and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil and mix with the baking soda
  • Add 4 litres of water in the above mixture and shake thoroughly
  • Agitate your spray to prevent the ingredients from separating

DO NOT USE BAKING POWDER IN PLACE OF BAKING SODA!

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