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Background

The project was initiated at the Banana 2008 international conference in Momabasa, Kenya in 2008 (www.banana2008.com). At the conference the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Bioversity made an effort to define and characterize the spatial extent of main banana and plantain production areas.  A mapping exercise was launched for the many banana experts from Sub Saharan African countries. The experts were given a map of their country and asked to mark the main banana growing areas. Each unique area should be similar in terms of agro climate, banana type and production technology. On a short questionnaire additional characteristics about the respective areas were entered (e.g. main cultivar type, production technology information and presence of pests and diseases). After the conference representatives of 10 countries had submitted their data. The areas and the information from the questionnaires were entered into a GIS. In the period that followed, more country experts submitted data per email until finally 25 countries were represented in the geo-database. However, there are more relevant countries that need to be mapped! To add these countries to the current data and at the same time to update, validate and improve the areas and characteristics that have already been mapped, this tool has been designed.