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Banana fungus threatens crop

April 8, 2014

Bananageddon: Millions face hunger as deadly fungus Panama disease decimates global banana crop

 

Full Article at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/bananageddon-millions-face-hunger-as-deadly-fungus-decimates-global-banana-crop-9239464.html

By CAHAL MILMO

Scientists have warned that the world’s banana crop, worth £26 billion and a crucial part of the diet of more than 400 million people, is facing “disaster” from virulent diseases immune to pesticides or other forms of control.

Alarm at the most potent threat – a fungus known as Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) – has risen dramatically after it was announced in recent weeks that it has jumped from South-east Asia, where it has already devastated export crops, to Mozambique and Jordan.

A United Nations agency told The Independent that the spread of TR4 represents an “expanded threat to global banana production”. Experts said there is a risk that the fungus, for which there is currently no effective treatment, has also already made the leap to the world’s most important banana growing areas in Latin America, where the disease threatens to destroy vast plantations of the Cavendish variety. The variety accounts for 95 per cent of the bananas shipped to export markets including the United Kingdom, in a trade worth £5.4bn.

Full Article at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/bananageddon-millions-face-hunger-as-deadly-fungus-decimates-global-banana-crop-9239464.html

How the global banana industry is killing the world’s favorite fruit

Full  Article at http://news.msn.com/science-technology/how-the-global-banana-industry-is-killing-the-world’s-favorite-fruit-1

By Gwynn Guilford

During harvest last year, banana farmers in Jordan and Mozambique made a chilling discovery. Their plants were no longer bearing the soft, creamy fruits they’d been growing for decades.

Scientists first discovered the fungus that is turning banana plants into this rotting, fibrous mass in Southeast Asia in the 1990s. Since then the pathogen, known as the Tropical Race 4 strain of Panama disease, has slowly but steadily ravaged export crops throughout Asia. The fact that this vicious soil-borne fungus has now made the leap to Mozambique and Jordan is frightening. One reason is that it’s getting closer to Latin America, where at least 70% of the world’s $8.9-billion-a-year worth of exported bananas is grown.

Full  Article at http://news.msn.com/science-technology/how-the-global-banana-industry-is-killing-the-world’s-favorite-fruit-1

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