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Growing and marketing banana under subtropical conditions

12 - 16 August 2018 Istanbul - Turkey


Background  Keynote speakers  Scientific programme  Workshops  Field trip  Full paper submission   Scientific Committee


As a tropical crop, the potential for bananas to produce year round is best expressed when water is abundant and daily temperatures are in the range of 20-30°C. However, bananas are also grown in subtropical regions, where the growing conditions are less than optimal. For example, bananas are an important cash crop in southern Brazil, North Africa, the Middle East, southern Africa, China, northern India, the Canary Islands and Turkey.

The main adverse conditions bananas are exposed to in the subtropics are cold temperatures and short days. But even when the conditions are favourable, as in the long summer days, there might be short periods of extreme temperatures above 35°C. Rainfall is also highly variable. Growing bananas in the subtropics requires technologies that are adapted to the local conditions.

On the other hand, the subtropics also present advantages over tropical production areas, such as reduced pest and disease pressure. Moreover, whereas climate change may make some areas even less suitable for bananas, it may improve growing conditions in others.

This symposium will take stock of recent developments in subtropical banana production and marketing, building on concepts and approaches presented during previous symposia. The first ISHS symposium on Banana in the Subtropics was held in 1998. In 2010, the ISHS Sections on Banana and Plantain and on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits jointly organized a symposium on Citrus, Bananas and other Tropical Fruits under Subtropical Conditions. Moreover, the 2016 ISHS-ProMusa symposium on Agro-ecological Approaches to Promote Innovative Banana Production Systems  covered a suite of technical advances in the deployment of agro-ecological approaches in banana production, and how these can contribute to the development of innovative sustainable production systems, including subtropical regions.

Keynote speakers
Victor Galán Saúco

Overview of subtropical banana industries

Victor Galan
Dr. Victor Galán Saúco is Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Department of Tropical Fruits at the Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias (1980-2007). He is also a consultant in tropical fruits, mainly bananas, mango and litchis. He has been chairperson of the ISHS Section on Tropical Fruits (1999-2006), vice-chair of the ISHS Section on Banana and Plantains (2006-2010) and Co-president of the 28th International Horticultural Congress in Lisbon. He has also been President of the Spanish Society of Horticultural Science (1995-2003). He has taught courses in tropical fruits in European and Latin American universities and governmental institutions. He authored many scientific papers, books and book chapters on tropical fruits. His main expertise in bananas is protected cultivation and varietal evaluation under subtropical conditions.

David Peasley

Diversity in the subtropics

David Peasley
David is a Certified Practising Agriculturalist with over 35 years’ experience in the Australian subtropical horticultural industries. He has written several book chapters, handbooks and grower manuals on all aspects of subtropical plant production. His main interests are working with growers to develop integrated pest and disease management systems and screening of varieties suitable for the subtropical growing conditions. In 2015, David was recognised by the Australian Banana Industry with the "Award of Honour" for outstanding dedication and service to the Australian Banana Industry. The Award recognised his part in the industry's response to the disease threat posed by exotic diseases and his dedication in representing the subtropical banana industry on the leadership team of the Banana Plant Protection Program and leading the National Banana Bunchy Top Project. He is a member of the Agricultural Institute of Australia and of the Australian Association of Agricultural consultants.

Hadi Bux Laghari

Growing bananas under harsh conditions, drought, cold and salt stress

Hadi Laghari

Hadi Bux Laghari is theTechnical Manager of a commercial farm in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Within two years of joining the farm, he developed a programme to manage Bunchy Top that is now used throughout the province. He also developed protocols to minimize the impact of the harsh climate on the bananas, increase productivity and improve fruit quality. He graduated in Plant Pathology from Sindh Agriculture University in 1998.


Doriana Mangili

Smart Marketing

Doriana Mangili
After a career as a business analyst in Australia and the UK, Doriana became a banana farmer in the sub-tropical region of Carnarvon in Western Australia. Initially joining the Sweeter Banana Co-Operative as a grower, she subsequently served as Board member, Marketer and now Business Manager.  Growing bananas on the edge of the desert was always going to be a challenge, but being failrly compensated for the effors proved to be the greater task. Hence Doriana’s main focus to differentiate Sweeter Banana's product from other Australian bananas.  Through marketing and organisational change, the Co-Operative has been able to challenge the status quo of Carnarvon bananas as a commodity and achieve a premium price.  By educating consumers, Sweeter Banana has shown that bigger isn’t always better and that flavour can trump looks. Passionate about family farming and local food, Doriana is also the Executive Officer of the Gascoyne Food Council and a member of the National Farming Together program Industry Advisory Group.

Miguel Dita

Current state of Fusarium wilt of banana in the subtropics

Miguel Dita

Migual Dita is Principal Plant Pathologist at Embrapa Cassava and Fruits  in Jaguariúna, São Paulo, Brazil. He is currently working on research and extension programmes related to bananas. He received his PhD in Plant Pathology from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil (2003). He was Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Biotechnology at the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (IAS-CSIC) in Spain (2004-2006) and then Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Plant Pathology at Plant Research International, Wageningen University, the Netherlands (2008-2009). He was Principal scientist and Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of Commodity Systems and Genetic Resources Programme, Bioversity International in Costa Rica (2010-2013). He has twenty years of experience in Plant Pathology, working in different countries, such as Cuba, Brazil, Spain, The Netherlands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá, Honduras, Colombia and Peru. His main areas of interest are in plant-microbe interactions (pathogen and beneficial) and in diagnostic, plant and soil health, integrated approaches for sustainable pest and disease management.

Scientific programme

Monday - 13 August

Welcome address

Opening keynote: Broad overview of the subtropical banana industry - Víctor Galán Saúco

Session A: Abiotic stress management and protected cultivation

Keynote: An overview of banana production in Pakistan: key constraints and management options - Hadi Bux Laghari

Phenotyping the banana biodiversity to select climate-smart cultivars - Sebastien Carpentier

Banana frost protection by thermal nets in Israel - Navot Galpaz

Agronomic performances of new selections of Cavendish varieties (Musa spp. AAA) grown in different protected cultivation areas in Turkey - Hamide Gübbük​

A simple cold tolerance test for banana cultivars - Matthew Weinert

Evaluation of nets system on banana production in subtropical conditions - (short oral) -  Hamide Gübbük

Early cold-induced peroxidases and aquaporins are associated with the high cold tolerance in Dajiao - (short oral) - Qiao-Song Yang

Analysis of the different cold tolerance between Cavendish banana and Dajiao based on transcriptome and phosphoproteome - (short oral) - Qiao-Song Yang

Discussion session: Abiotic stress management and protected cultivation 

Session B: Fusarium wilt

Keynote: Current state of Fusarium wilt of banana in the subtropics - Miguel Dita

Identifying banana genotypes resistant to Fusarium wilt race 1 under field and greenhouse conditions - Edson Amorim​

Host reaction of `Pahang´ (Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis) to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 - Si-jun Zheng

Combating Fusarium wilt by breeding banana varieties resistant to Foc TR4 - Chunyu Li

A comprehensive strategy for prevention and control of Fusarium wilt of banana based on resistant/tolerant varieties - Chunyu Li

The development of an advanced irrigation water treatment for the eradication of Foc TR4 from surface water for continued cost-effective banana plantation irrigation - Lothar Trueggelmann

Management of Fusarium wilt of banana in the subtropics of São Paulo, Brazil - Miguel Dita

Evaluation of different banana varieties on Fusarium Wilt TR4 resistance by phenotypic symptom and real-time quantitative PCR -  (short oral) - Si-jun Zheng

Gamma irradiation - a potential tool for the creation of variability and selection of mutants with Fusarium wilt resistance in banana cv. Rasthali (AAB, Silk)  - (short oral) - Marimuthu Somasundram Saraswathi

Discussion session: Fusarium wilt

Wrap up day one​

Tuesday - 14 August

Session C: Sustainable, innovative seed and production systems

Keynote: Diversity in the Subtropics - David Peasley

Farmers’ willingness to pay for disease-screened and labelled clean banana planting materials in Uganda - Enoch Kikulwe

Development of direct regeneration protocol for mass multiplication of banana cv. Rasthali (AAB, Silk) using immature floral hands as explants - Marimuthu Somasundram Saraswathi​

Field evaluation of control options against the banana weevil Cosmopolites sordidus and termites Microtermes spp. in Musa spp. - Vincent Umeh

Sustainable management of black sigatoka with biologics: serenade and sonata - (short oral) - Rolf Christian Becker

Digital Farming service to reduce chemical load in banana plantation - (short oral) - Rolf Christian Becker

Understanding gender roles and practices in innovation processes: A case study of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) disease management in Burundi - (short oral) - François Iradukunda

Induction of somatic embryogenesis in recalcitrant Musa spp. by media manipulation based on the molecular mechanism - (short oral) - Subbaraya Uma

Discussion session: Sustainable, innovative seed and production systems

Session D: Post-harvest quality, use of banana waste, production costs and economics, smart marketing

Keynote: Sweeter banana marketing - Doriana Mangili

Gender roles and constraints in the green cooking banana value chain: evidence from South Western Uganda - Susan Ajambo

Dynamics of banana research and development in India for farm profitability enhancement - Harishchandra Prasad Singh

Discussion session : Post-harvest quality, use of banana waste, production costs and economics, smart marketing

Closing session


Wednesday - 15 August

Morning: Developing commonly agreed guidance for the prevention and containment of banana Fusarium wilt TR4
Workshop description (PDF 436 kB)
Working document 1 - Banana TR4 policy guide (PDF 512 kB)
Working document 2 - Travellers guide to stop spread (PDF 384 kB)
To prepare in advance by noting your ideas, please use the comments form (PDF 186 kB)

Afternoon: Fighting climate change: developing commonly agreed guidance to screen for suitable agro-eco suitable genotypes
Workshop description (PDF 436 kB)

Thursday - 16 August 

Morning: ProMusa workshop: Introduction to the ProMusa network and website(s) to those who might not be familiar with it and to discuss up-coming activities
Workshop description  (PDF 340 kB)

Afternoon: Departure for field trip

Field trip

A  field trip to one of the banana growing regions in the Antalya province will take place after the symposium. The field trip is not included in the symposium package.

Thursday 16 August
  • Flight from Istanbul to Gazipasa
  • Welcome cocktail at hotel (offered by the organizers)

Friday 17 August
Transportation by bus (offered by the organizers)
  • Visit to protected cultivation areas
  • Visit to open field areas
  • Lunch (offered by organizers)
  • Visit to banana storage and ripening facility
  • Visit to a local fruit market
  • Dinner (included in hotel cost, along with breakfast)

Saturday 18 August

Return to Istanbul

Full paper submission

Deadline for full paper submission (by email to k.lehrer@cgiar.org): 12 August 2018

Scientific Committee

Inge Van den Bergh, Bioversity International, Belgium - Convener

Thierry Lescot, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, France (CIRAD)  - Convener

Hamide Gubbuk, Akdeniz University, Turkey  - Convener

Victor Galán Saúco, Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias (ICIA)  - Convener

Ahmed Ait-Oubahou, Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire, Hassan II-Complexe Horticole d’Agadir, Morocco

Edson Perito Amorim, Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), Brazil

Fréderic Bakry, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), France

Ana Lucia Borges, Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), Brazil

Pierre Brat, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Guadeloupe, France

German Calberto, Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, Colombia

Sebastien Carpentier, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium,

Jeff Daniells, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Australia

Sergio Luis Rodrigues Donato, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Baiano, Brazil

Navot Galpaz, Galilee Technology Center (MIGAL), Israel

Diane Mostert, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Hasan Pinar, Erciyes University, Turkey

David Turner, The University of Western Australia, Australia

Jacob Van Etten, Bioversity International, Costa Rica

Hans-Willem van der Waal, Agrofair, Netherlands

Matt Weinert, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia

Ganjun Yi , Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GDAAS), China