The Problem

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Banana bacterial wilt disease threatens production of banana in the Great Lakes region. As a result, a 50% decline in household incomes from banana sales and a corresponding increase in banana prices was observed during 2001 and 2004 in Uganda. Other costs associated with BBW include labour for cutting down and disposing of infected plants, de-budding the male fl owers and disinfecting cutting tools. These cultural disease control methods currently in use have not been successful and hence the need for exploring feasible alternatives.

AATF has brokered access to a gene from Academia Sinica in Taiwan that is currently being used for transformation. The work on transformation is being carried out by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda. Current laboratory tests on the effi cacy of the gene show that it is working.

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