'NARITA 21' at a glance


Left to right: ‘NARITA 21’, its female parent 1201K-1 and its female grandparent ‘Nakawere’

Ploidy level


Genome group



Synthetic hybrid

Breeding institutes


Breeder's code



‘Nakawere’ (AAA), Musa acuminata ssp. burmannica (Calcutta 4), Long Tavoy, 'Sinwobogi' (AA), 'Tjau Lagada' (AA), Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis  'Guyod' (AA) and Pisang Jari Buaya

ITC code


'NARITA 21' is a high-yielding and disease-resistant hybrid that is related, through its female grandparent, to a group of cooking and beer bananas called East African highland bananas (EAHB). ‘NARITA 21’ is named after NARO and IITA, the institutes that jointly developed the NARITA hybrids1 .

Two crosses were performed to obtain ‘NARITA 21’. The triploid EAHB cultivar ‘Nakawere’ was crossed with a wild source of disease resistance to produce a tetraploid. This tetraploid was then crossed with an improved diploid to produce the triploid hybrid ‘NARITA 21’ (see Breeding strategy below).

‘NARITA 21’ has been tested on station in Uganda2 and is being evaluated in a broader range of end-users environments (including farmers’ fields), to assess its potential for adoption by farmers and consumers3 . Its primary use is as a juice type.

Breeding strategy

Breeding scheme for 'NARITA 21'

‘NARITA 21’ is a secondary triploid obtained by crossing a disease-resistant tetraploid (1201K-1) with an improved diploid (7197-2)4 .

The tetraploid female parent 1201K-1 was obtained by crossing the triploid EAHB cultivar ‘Nakawere’ and Calcutta 4, a genebank accession of the diploid wild species Musa acuminata ssp. burmannica, which provided a copy of the so-called A genome. Calcutta 4 provided the resistance to black leaf streak.

The diploid male parent 7197-2 (whose code used to be preceded by TMBx, for tropical Musa bananas5 ) had been derived from a cross between SH3362 (an hybrid developed by FHIA) and Long Tavoy, a  genebank accession of a Musa acuminata subspecies. SH3362 had been obtained by crossing two improved diploids: SH3217 and SH3142)

SH3217 was the product of a cross between two improved diploids: SH2095 and SH2766, whereas SH3142 was the product of a cross between two 'Pisang Jari Buaya' (AA).

The parents of SH2095 were the products of a cross between 'Sinwobogi' (AA) and 'Tjau Lagada' (AA) and of a cross between Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis and 'Guyod' (AA), whereas the parents of SH2766 were 'Tjau Lagada' (AA) and the product of a cross between Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis and 'Guyod' (AA).

Agronomic performance

The following agronomic data were collected during a preliminary yield trial carried out by IITA and NARO at Namulonge in Central Uganda4 :

Plant height at flowering (cm)
Pseudostem girth at flowering (cm)
Time from flowering to harvest (days)
Bunch weight (kg)
Number of hands
Number of fingers
Fruit circumference (cm)
Fruit length (cm)
Number of functional leaves at flowering
Number of functional leaves at harvest
Height of tallest sucker at flowering (cm)
Height of tallest sucker at harvest (cm)
Youngest leaf spotted at flowering
Youngest leaf spotted at harvest
Survival rate (%)
* Data are averages for 10 plants evaluated over three crop cycles.

Reaction to diseases and pests

The scores for number of functional leaves and youngest leaf spotted at flowering and harvest indicate good resistance to black leaf streak.


1 IITA press release on the first ever high-yielding matooke hybrids.
3 Website of the Breeding Better Bananas project.
4 Tushemereirwe W, Batte M, Nyine M, Tumuhimbise R, Barekye A, Tendo S, Kubiriba J, Lorenzen J and Swennen R. 2015. Performance of NARITA banana hybrids in the preliminary yield trial for three cycles in Uganda.
5 Vuylsteke, D., Ortiz, R. and Ferris, S. 1993. Genetic and agronomic improvement for sustainable production of plantain and banana in sub-saharan Africa. African Crop Science Journal 1(1):1-8.

See also on this website

Musapedia pages on NARITA hybrids:
Musapedia pages on improved materials:

Official website of Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organization, NARO and its banana research program