MEDA, Context Global Development (CGD) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are collaborating to commercialize seed multiplication technologies, and new models that drive private sector investment into banana seed systems in Tanzania and Uganda.
The RAPID Banana project currently serves seven clients creating or sustaining 62 jobs.
The project name “RAPID” is an acronym from elements of the project title: RTB (Roots, Tubers & Bananas) Accelerator for Rapid Propagation Innovations and Distribution of seeds.
The goal of RAPID Banana is to get new and improved, higher yielding banana varieties to farmers in Uganda and Tanzania at an affordable price.
There are 10-15 banana/vegetatively propagated crops (VPC) grantee companies that are receiving both capital investment and technical assistance over the course of the project. There will be additional indirect clients related to the strengthened capacity of these companies, including employees and their families.
Bananas, cassava and sweet potato are three staple crops that reproduce through vegetative propagation, a daughter plant growing from a piece of its mother plant. In the Great Lakes region of East Africa (Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya), the banana crop is the most significant contributor to small farmer livelihoods and the greatest agricultural contributor to national income.
The RAPID project will improve banana seed distribution systems in Tanzania and Uganda by commercializing seed multiplication technologies and creating new business models that drive private sector investment into banana seed systems.