1987 - 1990. Consultant Research Scientist on Kagera Region Banana Improvement Project, Tanzania.
Managed by Agristudio srl, Firenze, Italy. Funded by the EU (EDF) and the Government of Tanzania.
The abstract of the principal published paper (Taylor, 1991a) reads:-
"A short description of the Kagera Region precedes a comprehensive review of the published information on the staple, subsistence crop, banana, and the causes of declining yields. The rationale for a programme of studies is followed by a description of work from December 1987 to May 1990. First, extensive surveys were made of all the main banana growing areas of the Region, leading to a delimitation of the areas, according to crop vigour and the observed constraints on production. Subsequent activities concentrated on the establishment of a number of simple demonstration and evaluation field trials and two factorial trials aimed at answering many of the questions regarding the crop, its husbandry and the potential for pest and disease management. Results covering the period from planting to first flowering and, in some cases, to harvest are given. Plant emergence; growth rates; sucker production; correlations between pseudostem girth and height, the very low incidence of banana weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus) in growing plants; the high incidence of root damage characteristic of endoparasitic nematodes (Pratylenchus goodeyi, Radopholus similis); and observations on several varieties are among the items discussed. The main factor affecting establishment and early growth of the crop appeared to be nutrition but, because variations in response to manure (two levels of farmyard manure and an NPK mixture) and pesticide (carbofuran and isazophos granules) were found to be site-specific, a cautionary approach to the ongoing rehabilitation to the crop is urged. The use of single stools as replicates was found to be a highly satisfactory experimental design for the factorial trials."In relation to the banana weevil, I argued for the need to assess the impact of larval tunnelling ("damage") to the central area of the corm on the grounds that tunnelling in the peripheral layers had no effect on the capacity for translocation, etc. This, together with my suggestion for a "damage gauge", has now been evaluated and shown to be well-founded (N.D.T. Rukazambuga, PhD Thesis, University of Reading, 1996).
The whole text and greatly enhanced background information, plus many illustrations can be seen on The Bananas of Upland East Africa.
Scientific paper -
Taylor, B. (1991a) Research field work on upland bananas, Musa, spp., principally acuminata triploid AAA types, in the Kagera Region of Tanzania. With observations on growth and the causes of decline in crop yield. Rivista di Agricoltura Subtropicale e Tropicale, 85, 349-392.
Technical Reports -
Taylor, B. (1988b) Banana improvement and pest control project, research proposals - 1989-93. Report to EEC Delegation, Dar es Salaam, 9 pp.
Taylor, B. (1988c) Proposed programme of research work on banana pest and disease control. Paper presented at the national Banana Research Coordinating Committee Meeting, Arusha, Tanzania, 9.2.88. 4 pp.
Taylor, B. & Rukazambuga, N.D.T. (1988a) Survey of banana cultivation in Ngara District, 16-21 March 1988. Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, Tanzania, 12 pp.
Taylor, B. & Rukazambuga, N.D.T. (1988b) Report on a safari to Kilimanjaro Region, August 1988. EEC and Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, Tanzania, 2 pp.
Taylor, B. (1989c) Status report on the programme of research work on banana pest and disease control (EEC-TARO Project. Paper presented at the national Banana Research Coordinating Committee Meeting, Arusha, Tanzania, 31.1.89. 4 pp.
Taylor, B. (1989d) Current research field work to determine the causes of decline of bananas, Musa spp., in the Kagera Region of Tanzania. A review of 1986-89 and proposals for 1989-91. Report to the EEC and the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, Tanzania, 11pp.
Taylor, B. (1989e) Extension field work to alleviate the causes of decline in crop yield of bananas, Musa spp., in the Kagera Region of Tanzania. Report to the EEC and the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, Tanzania, 20 pp.
Taylor, B. (1990a) Current research field work to determine the causes of decline in crop yield of bananas, Musa spp., in the Kagera Region of Tanzania. Paper presented at the national Banana Research Coordinating Committee Meeting, Arusha, Tanzania, 20.2.90. 13 pp.
Taylor, B. (1990b) Research and Extension field work to alleviate the causes of decline in crop yield of bananas, Musa spp., in the Kagera Region of Tanzania. 1986-1990. A short Final Report. Report to the Directorate-General for Development, EEC, Brussels, June 1990, 10 pp.
An independent Evaluation Mission, K. Sebasiagari and Dr. T.G. Baert, from the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain, reviewed the project in November-December 1989, on behalf of the EEC and the Government of Tanzania. Their report summary has the comment - "the project has already achieved a number of objectives..... The implementation rate at the beginning of December 1989 is rather high and even the research component, after a slow start, is working well, due in particular to the efforts of Dr. B. Taylor". Dr. U. Funaioli, of Agristudio srl, wrote to me of the published paper, - "I may add that it was very much appreciated within the Institute [Istituto Agronomico Per L'Oltremare, Firenze, Italy]".
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