Tissue cultured banana plants are clean, disease free planting material that offer a more rapid method of multiplication of quality plants which are uniform in growth habits and such plants are the preferred method for large scale banana cultivation. Kawanda has a tissue culture laboratory for the production of such plants and there are a few private laboratories in Kampala that also produce such plants.
The vast majority of the bananas currently grown and consumed were not conventionally bred but are selections made over probably thousands of years from naturally occurring hybrids. Cultivated bananas are very nearly sterile and as a consequence are not propagated from seed but rather through vegetative propagation, primarily suckers as well as more recently micropropagated or tissue cultured bananas. These factors, very old selections, near sterility and vegetative propagation, mean that these bananas have not been genetically improved either for resistance or improved quality and are becoming increasing in affected by serious pests and diseases.
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