lesion nematodes (“Minyoo fundo” in Swahili) are tiny roundworms that are so
small that you cannot see them. They
feed inside the banana roots. This causes purplish blackish dead areas on the
surface and inside roots but the inner central parts of roots remain whitish
and look healthy. The feeding damage disrupts root growth leading to weakened
plants and lower yields.
nematodes feed inside banana roots, but can move through the soil to new roots.
These hidden nematodes are difficult to reach with control measures.
- Do not establish banana plantings where bananas have been grown
before. It is safe to plant on fields where cassava has been grown
for at least the past 2 years.
- In case of replanting onto former banana fields, flood the field for 8 weeks after having destroyed the previous
banana crop, then replant.
- Use disease-free suckers from clean nurseries or clean land for
- Kill nematodes in roots of young banana transplants (suckers)
with hot water before transplanting: pare suckers from roots and old external
plant layers. Then, suckers are placed
for 1/2 minute into a bath of boiling water, or for 10 minutes into a bath of
hot non-boiling water.
corms with nematicide products mixed with mud and/or apply nematicides to the
planting hole and fill with soil. Be very careful, because nematicides are
highly toxic and dangerous to you. You are not allowed to fumigate the field.
- Apply large quantities of mulch around stems to stimulate root
growth and to reduce effects of damage by nematodes.
- Densely intercrop with plants that nematodes do not like such as
Tithonia tree marigold, Azadirachta neem trees or Tagetes African marigold.
- Spraying granular or liquid chemical nematicide products onto
and around banana stem bases is highly toxic, dangerous to you, and not
When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.