Tanzania and Uganda

RAPID BANANA

2019-2022

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.

Overview

RAPID

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.

Goal

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.

Reach

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.

Context

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.

Opportunity

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. 

Greenhouse with banana seedlings
banana seedlings
Banana seedlings

Strategy

Rapid Banana is working to achieve the following interventions:
 
  • Establish efficient connections between national research institutions in Tanzania and Uganda with private sector companies producing early generation banana.
  • Pilot and scale new technologies that improve multiplication rates and operational efficiency of tissue culture labs and nursery operations to drive down costs and make a viable candidate for investment.
  • Implement new technologies and improved business models that optimize operations of banana seed producers leading to establish efficient distribution to small farmers in need of new banana varieties and quality seed.

Partners