Technologies Available at KARI

1. Banana Improvement

  1. Development of banana genotypes resistant to pest and diseases:Five high yielding Matooke banana cultivars (Kisansa, Mudwale/Mpologama, Kibuzi, Namaliga, Mbwazirume) and five exotic cultivars (Kabana1, Kabana 2, Kabana 3, Kabana 4 and Kabana 5) have been identified and are being distributed to farmers. Kabana 3 and Kabana 4 are good replacement for Bogoya but also have fairly good cooking qualities. Kabana 5 is a good replacement for Kayinja and Kisubi beer bananas. Several utilization options such as dry preserved bananas (porridge reconstitution and Karo) are now being promoted to consumers. In addition to these selected improved cultivars, a breeding programme to improve local matooke was established and has delivered four promising matooke hybrids that have been selected for further evaluation.
  2. Cultural and biological control options: Cultural control practices for banana weevil and nematode such as; use of clean planting material, crop sanitation, weevil trapping using pseudostem and disc-on-stump traps. Semio-chemicals (pheromones and Kairomones) and biological control (Beauveria bassiana, parasitic ants) are also being developed for weevil control. Use of break crops such as cassava and sweet potato is also being recommended for banana nematode control. Enhanced plant nutrition soil management practices that improve plant vigour such as use of organic or inorganic manure and mulching are also recommended for management of banana pests and diseases. All these practices are accompanied by proper crop management practices such as timely weed control, pruning, de-trashing and soil erosion control. Control options based on ash and urine concoctions currently used by farmers are also undergoing validation.

2. Crop Post-Harvest Handling and Storage Technologies

In Uganda, crop post-harvest losses have been estimated at 5-15% for cereals and legumes, 20-25% for root and tubers and over 35% for fruit and vegetables. Losses have been due to arthropod pests (insects and mites), micro flora (fungi and bacteria), vertebrates (rodents and birds) and man (action or inactivity).

Technologies enhancing shelf-life of commonly grown crop in Uganda include:

  • Use of botanicals (i.e. tobacco, tephrosia, tagetes) against bruchids;
  • Physical methods (i.e. solarisation, parboiling, salting) control of a broad spectrum of storage pests; solar and hybrid dryers for fruit and vegetables;
  • Drying structures (i.e. biomass-heated, racks/platform, cribs, mats) for cereals and legumes;
  • Storage structures (e.g. brick silos, improved traditional granaries) for durable multi-crop storage;
  • Pit and clamp for fresh sweet potato;
  • Moistened media (sawdust) for fresh cassava;
  • Shellers and threshers, graters and chippers (root and tubers); and local baking ovens.

    3. Soil Management for Sustainable Production Systems

    Recommendations for:

  • integrating organic and inorganic (fertilisers) nutrient sources to reduce costs and improve fertilizer use efficiency;

  • using available organic residues to supply nutrients to crops;

  • appropriate ways for handling and application of farm yard manure;

  • appropriate ways for preparing and applying composts;

  • incorporating biological nitrogen fixation into farming systems through use of grain legumes and cover crops (for green manuring) to increase nitrogen in cropping systems;

  • use of improved/shorter rest periods (fallows) that fit into the farming systems while improving or maintaining soil productivity.

    The country's production heavily depends on rain-fed agriculture with only 55,000 ha (1.2%) of the 4,600,000 ha of farmland being irrigated. FAO estimates that up to 50% of the potential crop yields in Uganda are lost annually as a result of moisture stress, yet strategic development of supplemental irrigation (other factors remaining constant) would increase overall productivity and yields by 50-70% while making it possible to crop the land 2-3 times annually.

    NARO has consequently developed water harvesting recommendations for different utilisation practices; NARO has developed recommendations for construction of contour bands, terraces, grass strips, trash-lines, stone-lines and other structures to manage soil and water to prevent erosion in different farming systems/agro-ecological zones.

    The process of developing comprehensive Agricultural Land Use Plans has been initiated on a pilot basis starting with the districts of Rakai and Mayuge which should lead to a more holistic approach to the management of land resources and better planning for the country.

    4. Horticulture technologies for a modernised and diversified agriculture

    1. Planting materials for the above and other fruits grown in the country.
    2. Improved propagation, nursery, and orchard management techniques have been developed and many agricultural staff and farmers have been trained in these areas.
    3. High yielding Kawanda passion fruit clones are being cleaned of viruses and multiplied, while collar rot resistant root stocks are being identified.
    4. Eight avocado varieties for local, export, and processing markets, and 6 mango varieties for high rainfall areas and more for the drier areas have been identified. Five citrus cultivars, three of which are seedless, and 2 pawpaw varieties for export have also been identified, and farmers have been trained on selection of female pawpaw seeds from the local pawpaws. Two apple and 2 pear varieties are being tested for production in the highlands.
    5. IPM options for the control of major fruit pests and technologies for post harvest handling of passion fruits are also available.
    6. Three bacterial wilt tolerant tomato varieties have been identified and more are being screened. Two okra and 2 hot pepper varieties are available for the export market. Rust resistant snap bean varieties are being tested.
    7. Recommendations for the control of major pests and diseases of vegetables in Uganda have been developed, and farmers have been and are being trained in the safe and effective use of pesticides.

Essential oil crops are grown and processed for their oils which are used as scents and flavours by cosmetic, detergent, pharmaceutical, and household insecticide industries, among others. One Geranium variety which produces oils acceptable on the export markets has been identified.

Contact us at:
Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute
Tel: 256-41-567649