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Launch of the Global Programme on Banana Fusarium Wilt Disease

Side event during the Committee on World Food Security

Friday 13 October 2017
14:30 - 15:00
Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO HQ

Banana is an important crop for food security and livelihoods of around 400 million people, and is also an important source of revenue for many developing countries. Its production is currently threatened by a destructive strain of the Fusarium wilt disease fungus, known as Tropical Race 4 (TR4). This fungus, following its gradual expansion in Southeast Asia, recently jumped into the Near East and Mozambique, raising international concerns for its further spread endangering production and livelihoods of smallholders.

Disease prevention and rapid containment are the most effective measures to minimize damage and to prevent major negative socio-economic impacts. Immediate support needs to be provided to the countries that are already affected and multi-sectoral long term policies and planning are needed at global, regional and national levels to prevent further spread. For this purpose, FAO and its partners Bioversity International, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the World Banana Forum (WBF) have developed a global programme to facilitate international collaboration to assist developing countries in their efforts to combat the disease. The programme aims to promote preventive approaches and integrated disease management practices to enhance resilience of banana production systems. To properly respond to this food security threat to millions of producers, this coordinated global programme will be launched.