Tackling black leaf streak disease and soil fertility constraints to enable the expansion of plantain production to grassland in the humid tropics
Biological collection and data management
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In Central Africa, plantain is traditionally grown after a forest fallow. Given increasing urban demand and a lack of forest fallows near urban centres, as well as poor roads and environmental concerns to reduce pressure on forests, research is needed to identify suitable shade, fertility management and cultivars to shift production of plantain to grasslands and to reduce losses to diseases such as black leaf streak disease (BLSD). Effects of light level (full, 67%, 33% light), and nitrogen (N)-amendment on BLSD-tolerant (FHIA-21) and BLSD-susceptible (Batard) cultivars planted on soil from paired grassland and forest sites were determined. BLSD and growth were monitored until 5 months after planting. Three months after planting, leaf area attacked on cultivar FHIA-21 was less than half that on Batard. Plants grown under 33% and 67% light had less leaf area attacked (2.9% and 4.6%, respectively) than those grown in full light (7.3%). Leaf area and dry matter (DM) were higher under shade and when grown on forest soils. Compared to growing BLSD-susceptible plantain on forested land under shade, a shift onto grasslands and a reduction in shade use is predicted to reduce yields. Using cultivar FHIA-21 may limit, but not eliminate, yield loss.
CitationNorgrove, L.; Tueche, R.; Jacobsen, K.; Nkakwa Attey, A.; Holmes, K. (2012). Tackling black leaf streak disease and soil fertility constraints to enable the expansion of plantain production to grassland in the humid tropics. , International Journal of Pest Management, Vol. 58, 175-181, DOI: 10.1080/09670874.2012.676218.