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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Gender and Trait Preferences for Banana Cultivation and Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Literature Review

Marimo, Pricilla; Caron, Cynthia; Van den Bergh, Inge; Crichton, Rhiannon; Weltzien, Eva; Ortiz Rios, Rodomiro Octavio; Tumuhimbise, Robooni


Gender and Trait Preferences for Banana Cultivation and Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Literature Review Understanding trait preferences of different actors in the banana value chain may facilitate the selection and adoption of new cultivars. We systematically reviewed the scholarly and gray literature on banana trait preferences, with specific attention to studies that document gender-differentiated traits. Of 44 publications reviewed, only four reported gender-specific trait preferences, indicating a significant gap in the literature. The review found that banana farmers, irrespective of gender, value similar characteristics that are related to production constraints, income enhancement, consumption, and cultural or ritual uses. Farmers (as producers, processors, and consumers) often prefer traditional cultivars because of their superior consumption attributes, even if new cultivars have better agronomic and host plant resistance characteristics. Potential differences between trait preferences of farmers and other actors in the value chain should be accounted for to enhance marketing potential. Gender-specific research along the banana value chain and engaging users at the initial stages of breeding can ensure that new cultivars are acceptable to users and may improve adoption. Interdisciplinary teamwork is essential for an efficient and effective breeding program.


Breeding; end-user; Musaspp; value chain; ethnobotany

Published in

Economic Botany
2020, volume: 74, number: 2, pages: 226-241

Authors' information

Marimo, Pricilla
Biodiversity International
Caron, Cynthia
Clark University
Van den Bergh, Inge
Bioversity International
Crichton, Rhiannon
Bioversity International
Weltzien, Eva
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Tumuhimbise, Robooni
National Agricultural Research Organization

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG5 Gender equality

UKÄ Subject classification

Genetics and Breeding
Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Publication Identifiers


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