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28 February 2012

"Banana2008" took place October 5-9th 2008 at the Leisure Lodge Resort in Mombasa, Kenya, and was an overwhelming success. The Organizing Committee wishes to thank the many donors, sponsors, all those that helped in the organization, and the 400 participants from almost 60 countries that helped to shape this event.

The full banana strategy is published as a special issue of Scripta Horticulturae in February 2012 and can be FREELY downloaded here.

The proceedings are published in a
special issue of Acta Horticulturae in October 2011. All 95 articles can be FREELY downloaded here, for which we wish to thank ISHS.

Also, have a look at the more than 600 pictures, read the abstracts, listen to some press coverage or download the presentations from the event!

We encourage you to help us build the
interactive banana geo-base, a process started during Banana2008 that is mapping all banana-growing areas in Africa.

Banana and plantain are key staple crops in rural households in Africa, which are being increasingly targeted for income generation through improved linkages with the private sector. We hope that, with this event, we can help realizing the potential of this crucial crop for poverty alleviation and wealth generation. The conference actively solicited and obtained input from all stakeholders - scientists, farmers, trade specialists, policy makers and the private sector – and served as a unique forum to bring these together. Key priorities were:

·          develop a strategy for the next decade to exploit banana research for African economic growth,

·          strengthen research partnerships to overcome production bottlenecks,

·          focus research on meeting the challenges of evolving production trends, emerging markets and trade networks.


The conference featured 101 presentations and 181 posters. The importance of the conference was further highlighted by attendance of Honorable Janet Mukwaya, Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Uganda, who delivered the opening address on behalf of President Yoweri Musiveni; Anna Tibaijuka, Director-General of UN-HABITAT and Undersecretary-General of the UN; Honorable Agnes Abera Kalibata, State Minister for Agriculture, Rwanda; and Honorable Gideon Ndambuki, Assistant Minister of Agriculture of Kenya. The conference contained a parallel 900 m2 exhibition area, with 45 exhibition booths from 14 countries, including from the commercial sector, farmers, international organizations, national programs, NGOs, governmental organizations, and donors.


Undoubtedly, we have put the potential of banana for Africa in the spotlight. The wide coverage of this event in the international press is an illustration. The key product of the conference will be a 10-year, knowledge-based research-for-development strategy for banana in Africa, that will mobilize the banana sector and lift people out of poverty, by better linking researchers with farmers and other stakeholders, farmers with markets, and researchers and farmers with private and public sector actors, towards a change in banana production from donor aid-supported to a system sustained by an invigorated private sector that actively seeks technological interventions. We hope that millions of African farmers will benefit from the results generated due to this conference.


The conference was organized by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in partnership with Bioversity International, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).



CRS     Du Roi     ILRI   

NARO     DGDC      CTA  


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


  Brussels Airlines      Kenya Airways

  CIALCA         ILLOVO         Cropguard

    ASPS         PIBID         African Union

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