FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease
14 April 2014, Rome-- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning countries to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention of one of the world’s most destructive banana diseases, Fusarium wilt. The disease has recently spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East for the first time. The Fusarium TR4 race of the disease, which is also known as Panama disease, is posing a serious threat to production and export of the popular fruit, with serious repercussions to the banana value chain and the livelihoods, FAO said in an information brief. Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world’s least-developed countries, according to FAOstat, the UN agency’s main data-gathering and analysis service.
Fazil Dusunceli is a plant pathologist at FAO. In the following interview he elaborates on the current status of TR4, the implications of its affects and what preventative measures need to be taken.
Produced by: Sandra Ferrari