Fusarium Fungus Threatens Banana Plantation Across Globe

Friday, June 05, 2015

Banana Scare

Fusarium wilt; a type of fungus that appeared in Australia’s Queensland this year after spreading to Asia and Africa is all set to threaten banana supply across the globe. Queensland is the main banana growing state of Australia. The banana variety that is under threat is Cavendish which replaced its predecessor Gros Michel banana in 1950s after the latter was completely destroyed by a fungus.

A similar situation has come knocking at the doors after six decade and the only difference between then and now is the lack of a substitute. When Gros Michel banana became extinct, Cavendish was used for exports. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. called it a potential ‘big nightmare’. The fungus is yet to affect Ecuador; Cavendish’s top exporter. The United Nations believes that this fungus can affect the supply chain and that Latin American nations are taking steps to limit its risk. The fungus if successful could affect a market worth $7 billion.

The problem with the world is that it relies on a single variety of banana for exports. This is done in order to maintain uniformity and keep the production costs low.

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