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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Banana Fusarium wilt (Kabore)

Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense

Recognize the problem

Banana Fusarium wilt, also known as "Kabore" in Kinyarwanda, starts showing on lower leaves which turn yellow around the margins. At advanced stage, the leaves wilt and die forming dead "skirts" (ijipo) and the entire plant is killed. Tissues transporting water are discoloured and turn reddish brown in an infected banana when the pseudostem is cut. The disease can be differentiated from that which causes the bacteria wilt which starts from the younger leaves, turning them yellow. The bacterial wilt results in fruits ripening prematurely, the fruits are hard and with dark brown spots when cut. A sticky, yellow substance comes from the cut surface of its pseudostem.


Fusarium wilt, also known as Panama disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus. The fungus infects the roots and blocks the water passages of bananas, thus causing them to wilt. The disease lives inside the infected plant which may not show symptoms, such as on suckers. However, the infected suckers when planted carry the disease and results in infected plants. The spread is therefore mostly through infected suckers and rhizomes, but it can also survive in soil for at least 20 years. The fungus can also be transported on garden tools, such as hoes or knives used to cut pseudostems.


  • Use tissue culture planting materials which are free of the disease. They are found at Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB).
  • Plant resistant banana varieties such as Cavendish types, 'FHIA-01', AAAB genome; 'FHIA-17', AAAA genome; 'FHIA-23', AAAA genome; 'FHIA-25', AAB genome; 'SH-3640/10'; 'Yangambi Km 5', and AAA all of which are available in RAB.
  • Dig out infected plants, including roots, allow them to dry then burn them; or feed to animals.
  • To avoid spreading the disease, clean soil from shoes and tools when moving to another plot. Sterilise the farm tools with fire or use disinfectant such as household bleaching solution (e.g. JIK applied at 10ml in 50ml of water) before using them in another garden.
  • Do not move suckers from infested areas.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Ghana, Rwanda

Authors: Aguyoh Nyamori, Giselle Ingabire, Beatrice Uwumukiza

©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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