Fusarium Wilt of Banana and Plantain: A threat to regional economies and food security

A banana plantation affected by Fusarium wilt

Fusarium wilt of bananas, commonly known as Panama disease, is a destructive soil borne fungus that poses a threat to the production of all banana and plantain crops. Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 has reappeared and is now a priority pest threatening the region’s banana industry with serious economic, livelihood and food security repercussions.

There are four races of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc):

  • Race one spread globally in the first half of the 20th century destroying the Gros Michel Banana, which dominated world trade and also other banana varieties, but not the Cavendish variety;
  • Race two affects cooking banana species such as Bluggoe;
  • Race three infects only Heliconia species and not bananas; and
  • Race four, the lethal fungal disease, not only affects most varieties of bananas and plantain but also the Cavendish on which over 90% of world trade is based.

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8 Comments

  1. Affa
    August 13, 2019

    Great opportunity to start moving away from bananas as income producing, it is dying or has died, so has limes (but not apples nor potatoes… hmmm). The writing is on the wall! Time to go into hemp and marijuana production to export and/or produce CBD and good quality herb. Is the government still afraid people will smoke it? Huge world market, a multi billion dollar industry. Still procrastinating, thinking about it?

  2. Diversify
    August 13, 2019

    Let’s Legalize and plant cannabis alongside our bananas.

    • Thinking outside box
      August 13, 2019

      Duh….sorry, that would take thinking outside the box, no one here is getting paid to do that. Lol

  3. Casio
    August 13, 2019

    DNO deleting my comments. Casey them man not doing anything in agriculture. St. Lucia has managed their last plague. we havent yet.

  4. dee
    August 12, 2019

    Should we continue eating bananas ? will be the next big question .
    Don’t ever forget ”an apple a day keeps the doctor away ”, was a promotion slogan.
    Any apple diseases world wide yet ?
    where all those banana diseases coming from ? were they created in a lab ?
    I suspicious and really concerned now .

  5. Casey
    August 12, 2019

    WHERE ARE THE COMMENTS???!!

    • No accident
      August 13, 2019

      Only experts should comment here, and you sound like an expert. I don’t have the answer but since you asked I will tell you this: Conspiracy theory or not, historical tends predict such events since you, the 3rd world, are the only producers of a commodity it’s easy for the racial superiority animals to target. If they can kill your leaders that immerge, in ways difficult and sometimes easy to prove, this food supply is nothing but an easy target. Makes one wonder why isn’t the Idaho potato dying at all. Work on this as hard as you may but don’t put that beyond them. 8)

  6. Casey
    August 12, 2019

    The nature of the black sigatoga was always at the root. Because it is a symptom of dehydration because of artificial fertilizer use (artificial fertilizers release the most potent greenhouse gas; nitrite oxide).

    This new disease name is just a re-branding of black sigatoga from leaf spot disease to Fusarium wilt.

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