Our matoke will survive: Ugandan farmers fight banana bacterial wilt

| June 19, 2017

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Like our Farmer story from DRC, our Script of the week focuses on managing banana bacterial wilt.

This script captures the experiences of matoke farmers in the Bushenyi district of western Uganda in their fight against banana bacterial wilt. Bushenyi is one of the biggest matoke-producing areas in the country, and one of the worst affected by bacterial wilt.

The script revisits the shock of farmers when they first saw the disease, and their frustration with not knowing how to stop it. It shows the widespread devastation, as entire banana fields were wiped out by the disease, and the frantic experiments some farmers pursued in a vain attempt to keep a few banana stems standing until, finally, real workable solutions were found.

You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on the best ways to fight banana bacterial wilt in banana-growing areas, and how farmers can improve banana yields by following simple agronomic practices.

Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.

Talk to farmers and other experts in your area who grow bananas or are knowledgeable about the crop. You might ask them:

What’s the main difference between those farmers who have managed to contain banana bacterial wilt and those who have failed?

What advice would you give to a farmer with a poor banana yield? What kinds of problems should the farmer look for?

For farmers who are planning to plant their first banana crop, what do they need to know to have a wilt-free plantation? What can the farmer do to get the best yields?