Enset bacterial wilt

Lead Organization:

Southern Agricultural Research Institute

Partner Organizations:

Hawassa University, SNNP Bureau of Agriculture, EIAR

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa






Enset (Ensete ventricosum) is a perennial monocotyledonous plant that, along with banana, belongs to the family Musaceae. Enset, also known as “false banana”, is a neglected but important food security crop. It serves as the staple food for about 17 million Ethiopians or 20% of the country’s population and is particularly important in southern Ethiopia. The trunk of the plant—consisting of stem, leaf sheathes and corm–is pulverized and fermented into a starch-rich product that is used for making kocho, a pancake-like bread. The plant is also used for livestock feed, building material, and medicine and for making textile, paper, and adhesives. Enset production is constrained by a bacterial wilt disease caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum).  This same pathogen is also responsible for the Banana Xanthomonas Wilt disease.

Grant Aims:

Mapping of the distribution, prevalence and intensity of enset bacterial wilt disease and its impact on livelihoods. Development of varieties that combine disease resistance, culinary quality and other desirable agronomic traits in a participatory fashion.A clearer understanding of the mechanism and durability of the resistance.Identification of alternative fodder grasses to expand the fodder resource base.Development of integrated EXW management options for enset producing areas and increase enset yields.Enhanced capacity of farming communities, researchers, and institutions in enset crop management and management of EXW.An effective system for early warning and disease prevention put in place resulting in proper management of EXW in Ethiopia.

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • Development of an integrated management approach for Enset Xanthomonas Wilt to curb spread of the disease in Ethiopia.
  • Production of a distribution, prevalence and intensity map of Enset Xanthomonas wilt in Southern Ethiopia to identify areas for intervention.
  • Development of Enset varieties that combine disease resistance, culinary quality and other desirable agronomic traits through breeding.
  • Greater capacity for Enset  Xanathomonas Wilt disease management among institutions, organizations and farmer communities.


  • Farmer’s Knowledge and Perception of Enset Xanthomonas Wilt in Southern Ethiopia

    East & Southern Africa