Macro-propagation: Multiplying banana plants

Macro-propagation technology is enabling farmers in Rwanda to quickly multiply their own disease-free banana planting materials in large quantities. Healthy-looking suckers are selected from mother plants and outer leaf sheaths removed to expose the meristem (growing part of plant), which is cut into pieces and placed in sterilised chambers for 15 days till the pieces sprout plantlets. Using this method, a sucker can produce up to 20 plantlets, instead of just one, which are ready for field planting after 2 to 3 months. The technique is allowing Rwandan farmers to cultivate improved varieties such as Injagi and Fhia 25, and is offsetting poor yields from drought and disease.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.