News and knowhow for farmers

KALRO selling high quality Banana Tissue culture seedlings

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A farmer displaying a giant Banana developed from Banana tissue culture seedling. (Photo credits: atl farm)

Active and prospective banana farmers in Kenya can obtain high quality tissue culture seedlings at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (Thika)

The research firm has more than five varieties which include giant Cavendish, grand nain, and Mbogoya for ripening, Uganda green for cooking, Aloe Vera for medicinal/cosmetics purposes and vanilla for making spices.

READ ALSO: Better weed management and proper advice enhances farmer’s banana prospects

Giant Cavendish

A Cavendish banana is the fruit of a  banana cultivar belonging to the Cavendish subgroup of the AAA cultivar group. 

The fruits of the Cavendish bananas are eaten raw, used in baking, fruit salads, fruit compotes, and to complement foods. The outer skin is partially green when sold in food markets, and turns yellow when it ripens. As it ripens the starches turn to sugar making a sweeter fruit. When it reaches its final stage (stage 7), brown/black “sugar spots” develop. When overripe, the skin turns black and the flesh becomes mushy.

READ ALSO: Irrigation boosts banana yield by 30%

Grain nain

Grand Nain bananas are banana cultivars of the species Musa acuminata. It is one of the most commonly cultivated bananas and a source of commercial Cavendish bananas.

READ ALSO: Irrigation boosts banana yield by 30%


This type of banana is usually grown in Uganda and is susceptible to race 1 strains of Fusarium oxysporum.sp. cubense.

Uganda green

Uganda green is the fruit of a variety of starchy banana, commonly referred to as cooking/green bananas. The fruit is harvested green, carefully peeled and then cooked and often mashed or pounded into a meal.

Bananas can be grown successfully in many parts of the country including Kisii, Kakamega, Bungoma, Meru, Murang’a, Embu, Nyeri, Kerio Valley, Kericho, Baringo, Kirinyaga and the coastal region. They can also be grown in Kitui, Machakos and Makueni Counties and also drier areas under irrigation.


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