IAMO PhD under ICT4BXW project, Rwanda

The problem that is being tackled

Banana is an important crop in Rwanda. It contributes to more than 50% to the diets and it is grown by 90% of households. However the crop is threatened by a bacterial disease called Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), which has spread throughout the region resulting in 100% yield losses at certain infected farms. Information about methods for prevention and new methods to control the disease have been introduced, however the spread and uptake of these methods is slow.

The CIALCA solution

In this research project we investigate the question to what extent cell phones can help in improving communication networks within the region. The idea is that the use of cell phones, at least in theory,  will make it easier to spread information and to adapt the information to the particular needs of a farmer. Ultimately farmers could also upload information making the communication more interactive.

How it contributes to improving livelihoods

Improving communication and information flows will help to combat the spread of the BXW disease. Using cell-phones might make it possible to reach isolated communities or groups of farmers that are currently not so well served through the existing formal extension services.

CIALCA Pillars

Pillar 1: Partnerships and policies Pillar 2: Capacity Development Pillar 3: Innovation development and use
It’s a scientific research project. It’s results may influence Rwandan agricultural policies with regard to BXW prevention A PhD candidate from the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) is being trained in Germany at IAMO. The project looks at alternative ways to combat and prevent BXW and how to best organise farmer networks.

Must-read publication

If you want to learn more about Social network analysis, then please read:

Frans Hermans, Murat Sartas, Boudy van Schagen, Piet van Asten, Marc Schut (2017). Social network analysis of multi-stakeholder platforms in agricultural research for development: Opportunities and constraints for innovation and scaling

More info and outputs

Kabirigi Michel, PhD student (kabirigi@iamo.de)


This work stream is implemented in collaboration with:

Leibniz institute for agricultural development in transition economies (IAMO)