The outbreak of a banana disease known as banana bacterial wilt (BBW) in Vihiga County has raised concerns among farmers who are counting losses due to the epidemic.
BXW, or banana bacterial wilt (BBW) or enset wilt is bacterial disease characterized by a gradual wilting and yellowing of the leaves plus wilting of the bracts and shriveling of the male buds.
BBW can also affect the fruits where symptoms on the fruit include internal discoloration and premature ripening of the fruit.
However County executive member for Agriculture Nixon Amendi said the department is aware of the outbreak and have taken steps to address the matter.
He said already they have trained farmers in all five sub counties on how to detect and restrain the disease from reaching other areas.
“We have taken measures to control the disease by training farmers and sending our extension officers to attend to the affected farmers,” said Amendi.
Amendi advised the farmers to uproot the whole plant if affected adding that the department will issue more tissue bananas to affected farmers to plant in another piece of land.
He said affected acreage will not be used to plant bananas for five years to ensure the virus is free from the soil urging farmers to plant other crops on the affected lands.
“To stop the spread of the disease, the affected plants must be uprooted and burnt in a pit before tools used sterilized,” said Amendi.
He said the county government had invested heavily in banana farming and would ensure the farmers incur minimal loss.
“The county government distributed over 90,000 banana seedlings during planting season to farmers and another 10,000 is to be distributed early next month,” said Amendi.
Amendi was speaking at Mbale town during a meeting with agricultural officers on how to handle the disease.