Return to previous page

Banana Systems in the Humid Highlands of Sub-Saharan Africa: Enhancing Resilience and Productivity addresses issues related to intensification of banana-based cropping systems in the sub humid highland areas of Africa. Bananas are a staple food in the East African highlands, where they have some of the highest per capita consumption rates in the world. The crop is a permanent source of food and income throughout the year for millions of smallholder farmers. Its reliable and continuous production has spared the humid highland region from drought-induced famines that have plagued other areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, the permanent canopy cover and self-mulch of banana based systems also prevent run-off and erosion in this hilly landscape. However, in times of rapid population growth, urbanization and increasing regional trade, actors in the private and public sector are particularly encouraging the production of easily tradable and storable dry foods such as maize. Bananas have further suffered from major pest and disease outbreaks over the past few years. Maintaining and enhancing the socioeconomic and biophysical buffer function of banana-based systems has, therefore, become a formidable challenge that affects the livelihoods of millions of poor producers and consumers in the region.