Banana is a highly important food crop in many countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Photo: ©FAO/Daniel Hayduk


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Fusarium wilt disease threatens banana production. A new emergency project as well as a new banana variety aim to fight the fungal plant disease.

An emergency project to help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean fight the spread of Fusarium wilt disease was launched in early October 2019 by the Technical Cooperation Programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). At the same time, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that after years of research, Chinese experts have recently released a new variety resistant to TR4 of Cavendish. 

Fusarium wilt disease - caused by the most recent strain (Tropical Race 4, TR4) of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense - affects the production of many varieties of plantains and bananas, including Cavendish, one of the globally most popular varieties in the market. Cavendish banana variety makes up around 47 per cent of global production.

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