Ky’osimba Onaanya: understanding productivity of East African Highland banana

G. Taulya

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Over 30 million people in East Africa depend on East African highland bananas for food and income. The bananas are grown with limited additions of nutrients and no irrigation, despite widespread poor soil fertility and regular dry seasons. This thesis describes the effect of increasing rainfall and application of potassium and nitrogen fertilizers on banana growth and yields. In areas that receive less than 1100 mm of rainfall per year, additional rainfall increases yields by 65%. Application of potassium increases yields by 88%, while nitrogen is not required. A framework for computing banana growth and yield in response to the amount of water stored in the soil is described. Where the soil water storage capacity is low, mulching increases yields by 10% but it has no effect in areas where the soil water storage is high. This framework is envisaged to guide improvements in banana management and productivity in East Africa.

Original languageFrench
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Giller, Ken, Promotor
  • Leffelaar, Peter, Co-promotor
  • van Asten, P.J.A., Co-promotor
Award date12 Nov 2015
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789462575615
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • bananas
  • musa
  • drought
  • nutrient availability
  • potassium
  • nitrogen
  • fertilizers
  • africa
  • uganda
  • crop growth models
  • decision models
  • dry matter distribution
  • growth analysis
  • light
  • phenotypic variation

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