Remote-sensing models to enhance Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) surveillance in Africa
The IITA–CGIAR team has published a method using drones and satellite imager-based remote sensing approaches for mapping banana farms to guide surveillance for the detection and mapping of the banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) spread and support data-informed decision-making on BBTV containment strategies in sub-Saharan Africa. The study, Banana Mapping in Heterogenous Smallholder Farming Systems Using High-Resolution Remote Sensing Imagery and Machine Learning Models with Implications for Banana Bunchy Top Disease Surveillance, was published in the peer-reviewed, open access Remote Sensing journal.
BBTV has emerged as a major threat to banana production in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The virus infection results in severe dwarfing (bunching) of the shoots and cessation of fruit production, denting the food and income security of smallholder farmers.