According to a guide developed by Bioversity International and partners; every year rural households plant or replant fields of bananas, using more than 20 billion suckers. However, obtaining sufficient clean planting material is a big challenge to smallholders, because they may need not just five or ten suckers, but hundreds to thousands annually.
The guide which is available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic does not only summarise the key practices for producing clean banana planting material of banana with a high-yield potential; but also also provides useful information to better planning the propagation of planting material for rural development and disaster relief projects.
Because bananas propagate vegetatively without any role for pollination, seeds or spores, rural farmers stand the risk of planting material infected with pests and diseases. The guide aims to promote the use of clean and good-quality planting material which can achieve higher yields thus minimising losses by 50 per cent or more.