Oserian goes bananas
After successfully growing and exporting flowers for decades, Oserian Development Company has diversified into bananas.
The tissue culture banana seedlings department is an offshoot of the company's high technology research department that has given it the reputation of being the most technically advanced production facility of flowers in the world.
In a statement, the tissue culture manager Simon Ndirangu. said the flower farm has the growing of a wide range of tissue culture plants, and that bananas are the first to be commercialized. "Tissue culture plants are consistent in vigor and yields. Bananas have heavier bunches as compared to produce from conventional suckers, " he said.
East Africa has over the years seen the decline of banana production due to factors arising from pest infestation, crop disease and environmental degradation. The banana bacterial wilt (BBW)) has reduced production since the disease cannot be chemically controlled while methods to limit its spread are expensive.
Introduction of introduction of tissue culture plants has so far offered a better solution to the management of the devastating disease.
Tissue culture contrasts with the current practice of transferring banana suckers between farms which increases the risk of transmitting pests and spreading disease among the plants.