Loading...
 

Under the peel

Under the peel is the blog of the ProMusa community. The views expressed are those of the authors. Non-registered users can post comments, but only registered ones can post blog items. When logged in, click on the pencil+ icon to start a post. We welcome contributions in French or Spanish. If you need help, contact the InfoMus@ editor at infomusa@promusa.org.

Remembering the world's most famous banana scientist

Anne Vézina Friday, 11 May 2012

I never met Norman Simmonds, on whom I recently did a page in Musapedia. He died six months before I joined INIBAP in July 2002. Prior to doing a page on him I was glad he had shared so much of his vast knowledge of bananas (I keep my copies of Bananas and The Evolution of the Bananas at arm’s length since they are the first things I check whenever I am looking for information on bananas, even though new data have since poked holes in some of his hypotheses, like his account of domestication). But having read what people said about him after his death, at 79, I now regret having narrowly missed the opportunity to pick his brains (he apparently remained active right until his last weeks). I can only imagine how intimidating it would have been. He is said to have refused an entry in Who’s Who because their letter to him was sloppily written.

Read more

World Banana Forum: getting down to business

Alistair Smith Tuesday, 20 March 2012
WBF

Some 200 people took part in the second global conference of the World Banana Forum in Guayaquil, business capital of Ecuador, at the end of February. International fruit companies, national producers, small farmers' organisations, trade unions of plantation workers, retailers, government representatives, scientists, certification bodies and NGOs met around an agenda for change in the industry that had been set 2 years earlier in Rome at the launch of the Forum.

Read more

Student farm bananas, update

Gabriel Sachter-Smith Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Things are going well! We have our first two plants flowering after only 7 months in the ground. This recent photo was taken at about 8 months after planting. It is gaining a lot of attention on our campus, and we already started to expand it, and will be adding even more soon as well.

Read more

Banana scientists gather in Brazil for the fourth ISHS-ProMusa symposium

Inge Van den Bergh Wednesday, 02 November 2011

The first ISHS-ProMusa symposium ended with Richard Markham, then chair of the ISHS Section on Banana and Plantain, reminding participants “of our limited success over the past 20 years in providing workable solutions to the major crop protection problems of farmers”. We all know what these are: leaf spot diseases, Fusarium wilt, bacterial wilts, viruses, nematodes and weevils. This fourth symposium, hosted by Embrapa, similarly provided sobering accounts of the challenges scientists still face in addressing these problems. And rightly so. We should not underestimate the scale of the task at hand. But symposia also play a non-negligible role in lifting our spirits by reminding us that the steady progress of science is also punctuated by the occasional leap.

Read more

University of Hawaii student farm bananas

Gabriel Sachter-Smith Thursday, 11 August 2011

A while ago I had written about the banana collection at the student farm program I help run here at the University of Hawaii. We have been working very hard and have some new updates I'd like to share.

Read more

BARNESA and MUSALAC consolidate their representation in ProMusa

Inge Van den Bergh Tuesday, 19 July 2011

During their regional network meeting in April in Burundi, the steering committee members of the Banana Research Network for East and Southern Africa (BARNESA) nominated Svetlana Gaidashova to be the BARNESA representative on the ProMusa steering committee.

Read more

Proceedings of second joint ISHS-ProMusa symposium available

Karen Lehrer Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The presentations made during the ISHS-ProMusa symposium ‘Global perspectives on Asian challenges’ held in Guangzhou, China in September 2009 have been published as a volume of Acta Horticulturae.

Read more

Changes in the ProMusa Steering Committee

Inge Van den Bergh Tuesday, 08 March 2011

The Banana Asia-Pacific network (BAPNET) is the first network to have chosen who will represent them on the ProMusa Steering Committee. In January, the BAPNET Steering Committee unanimously elected Gus Molina, the Asia-Pacific regional coordinator for Bioversity International’s Commodities for Livelihoods programme. He had been acting as the network’s representative since their admission to the Steering Committee last May.

Read more