Our research on bananas at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT aims to revolutionize banana growing by highlighting its genetic diversity, developing resilient varieties, and empowering farmers for a prosperous and sustainable future.
The Importance of Banana Research
Millions of people across the world depend on bananas as a source of food and income. However, despite increasing global banana production, yields of banana – both dessert and cooking varieties – are far below their full potential.
History of Banana Research at the Alliance
Banana-related research at the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT began in 1985, when the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP) was founded to promote the conservation and safe exchange of genetic resources in support of banana improvement, largely in response to the threat of the emerging Black leaf streak disease (Black Sigatoka).
Our Research Approach
The Alliance researches the diversity of bananas and their wild relatives, building on smallholder farmers' knowledge to make production systems more productive and resilient to shocks. Our scientists are identifying varieties that are resistant to major pests and diseases, tolerant to drought, and suited to the socio-economic contexts in which they are grown.