Agronomic performance of introduced banana varieties in lowlands of Rwanda
AbstractMost of Rwandan banana cultivars are low-yielding and susceptible to pests and diseases. High yielding and pest/disease resistant varieties have been obtained in advanced breeding centers recently. Introduction, evaluation and adoption of such varieties by local producers may be one of the options to boost yields. The objective of
this study was to evaluate the agronomic performance of FHIA hybrids in lowlands of Rwanda. Completely randomised design was used with 9 treatments (varieties) and 20 replicates. Data were recorded on plant growth and yield components, banana bunchy top virus and yellow Sigatoka incidence. All hybrids matured later than local cultivars except FHIA 18 which was the earliest maturing variety. FHIA 17 and FHIA 25 matured 1 and 3 month late compared to the average cycle of the 2 local checks. However, it was compensated by high bunch
weight of 53.4 and 52.3 kg for FHIA 17 and FHIA 25, versus 26.9 and 19.5 kg for Poyo and Barabeshya, respectively. FHIA 17, FHIA 25 and FHIA 18 had the highest yield of 55.7, 52.6 and 46.5 t ha-1 per year,
respectively. Considering their resistance to fusarium wilt and yellow Sigatoka and superior agronomic performance, they may be released for Rwandan lowlands after conducting palatability tests.