MUSA H2020

MUSA (Microbial Uptakes for Sustainable management of major bananA pests and diseases) is five years  project funded by EU, started in year 2017. The principal outcome of this project will be to achieve sustainable intensification of Musa spp. and ensete crops, through identification, development and implementation of IPM based on beneficial microorganisms in control of nematodes, banana weevils and panama disease in banana. 

In this project, Real IPM’s aim among others is to achieve Sustainable Management of Nematodes and banana weevils in Africa using EBCAs and plant resistance / tolerance based IPM approaches. To do this Real IPM is working in collaboration with IITA and ICIPE.

Real IPM also intends to transfer technology and build capacity on bio-pesticide knowledge to farmers. This will be implemented through training farmers on newly developed  beneficial microbials for control of Banana weevils and Root nematodes in bananas in in Kenya.

The Banana Problem

Pest and diseases, majorly banana weevils, plant parasitic nematodes and Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporium) have continually affected banana and enset production in both tropical and sub-tropical regions. This has significantly affected food security of millions of people who depend on banana for food, particularly smallholder farmers. The impact of such pests and diseases has also threatened income for both small scale and large-scale banana farmers worldwide; the loss has been approximated to billion dollars.

In the last decades, banana pest and disease management has been achieved through chemical methods, which are not sustainable. Chemical control methods have continually heightened health and environmental risks. Following high health risks and harmful impacts on the environment, most pesticide compounds have been banned from the market. On the other hand, pests and pathogens have developed resistance towards most of the pesticide compounds used rendering them ineffective.

The Banana Solution

In this light, there is need to develop sustainable banana pest and disease management strategies aimed at reduced reliance on chemical usage, which will help in addressing health, and environmental pollution issues while cutting down losses attributed by the fore mentioned banana pests and diseases. MUSA project thus focuses on development and implementation of integrated banana pest and disease management strategies based on bio-products/bio formulations.

One of the main objectives of the project is to manage nematodes in bananas by the use of Mazao Sustain. It contains natural beneficial fungus and is administered through dipping in the seedlings stage and as a drench in the field stage. Despite Mazao Sustain being a nematicide in crops, it also works as a biofertilizer that promotes root growth thus enhances yields due to Trichoderma species it contains.

Project (call) identifier: H2020-SFS-2016-2017

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