Loading...
 

Mediawatch

Links to online news on bananas

TR4 in Jordan

Monday, 04 November 2013

A first report of tropical race 4 outside southeast Asia was published in Plant Disease. The diagnostic was performed by scientists from Wageningen UR (University and Research Centre) using samples sent by Jordan's Ministry of Agriculture. It appears that 80% of the banana plantations in the Jordan Valley, which represent a total of only 1,000-1,500 hectares, are now infected.

NARITAS to undergo field evaluation

Friday, 25 October 2013

IITA announced that 26 improved hybrids of East African highland bananas are about to be evaluated for their agronomic performance and disease resistance. Dubbed NARITAS because they are the products of a collaboration between NARO (National Agricultural Research Organization) and IITA (the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture), the hybrids will be tested in various banana-growing areas of East Africa by national programmes in collaboration with Bioversity International.

The unsustainable pricing of UK's favourite fruit

Friday, 25 October 2013

In a piece on how the UK supermarkets' banana price war is making sustainable production impossible for producers and their workers, Alistair Smith of Banana Link is quoted as saying that "Competition law so far deals only with cartels of suppliers, not with cartels of buyers. But we're in a new world where cartels of buyers can force down prices, whatever the sector".

Marketing Kenyan bananas

Thursday, 24 October 2013

In The time is ripe, the magazine Spore explores the various marketing strategies used by banana producers in Kenya to develop domestic and regional markets.

Filipino banana farmers share their experience with TR4

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Filipino farmers talk about their experience with the tropical race 4 fungal strain that attacks Cavendish bananas in two videos (part 1 and part 2) produced for a group of Wageningen UR researchers working on Fusarium wilt (better known as Panama disease). The series contains other videos on the dreaded disease.

Australia takes action against banana freckle

Tuesday, 03 September 2013

No sooner had freckle disease been found on Cavendish bananas that the Northern Territory's Department of Primary Industry put several farms under quarantine. The disease was originally found in hobby farms and depending on the results of a survey of 300 farms, the authorities will decide whether to try eradicating the disease. The disease had been observed on other cultivars, but never on Cavendish ones.

 

The Tribute to Phil Rowe online

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The organizers of the Earth International Banana Congress, which included a Tribute to Phil Rowe, have just put online the PDFs of the presentations. The congress also had a session on carbon neutrality and sustainable production.

GM bananas: from nutrition to disease resistance

Monday, 26 August 2013
GMO

James Dale of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia speaks with freshfruitportal.com about the various projects he and his team are working on, from making bananas resistant to bunchy top and Fusarium wilt to tackling vitamin A and iron deficiencies.

RTB-led alliance to control Bunchy top in Africa

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bioversity International and IITA are collaborating on the organization of a global alliance to control the spread of bunchy top in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Earlier this year they organized a workshop — Building a collaborative, public-private R4D alliance
for an integrated control of banana bunchy top disease in Sub-Saharan Africa —  whose report is now available on the website of the Roots, Tubers and Bananas research program.

Mapping banana production

Friday, 12 July 2013

A mapping tool developed by the Roots, Tubers and Bananas Consortium Research Program is now available online. RTBMaps, as the website is called, was launched with some 25 map layers, including poverty and food-security indicators as well as production constraints. No sooner had it won an international award, that observers of the agricultural scenes started commenting on the online tool.

Harnessing local banana know-how

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Living in a cyclone prone area has necessarily led to the development of coping mechanisms to survive their aftermath. One of these, from Futuna island in Vanuatu, is a method to preserve unripe bananas for up to two years. Another one from Samoa is a propagation method that can produce 50 shoots from a single plant to accelerate replanting after a cyclone. This traditional know-how is being disseminated as part of a SPC-GIZ project.

Surviving Panama’s banana crisis cooperatively

Thursday, 04 April 2013

Alistair Smith of Banana Link explains, at Fresh Fruit Portal, how a cooperative run by former Chiquita workers has survived the dramatic decline in Panama’s banana exports that has taken place in recent years. The Cooperativa Bananera del Atlantico R.L., known as Coobana, has some 500 workers, 220 of whom are members of the cooperative.

Australia takes on bunchy top

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

As part of its ambitious campaign to eradicate bunchy top, the Australian Bunchy Top National Project funded by the banana industry and the Australian government has produced a four-minute video targeting the general public. A shorter version focuses on the symptoms and what to do in case of infection.

India's plan to enter the global banana trade

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

According to BBC News, the Confederation of Indian Industries has drawn up a plan to export bananas from the country's main production region in the south. Their ambition is to create a global brand, Tamil Nadu Bananas, along the lines of Florida Oranges and California Apples. Among the challenges producers face are reducing waste, which currently represents about 30% of production, and improving post-harvest facilities.

Typhoon 'Pablo' flattens banana plantations

Friday, 07 December 2012

In addition to claiming the lives of more than 400 people, the devastating typhoon ‘Pablo’ that hit the island of Mindanao in the Philippines also caused extensive damage that affect the livelihoods of millions of people. The commercial banana plantations were particularly affected (most of the country’s plantations of export bananas are located on the southern island precisely because it is usually less affected by typhoons than the northern islands). The other worry is that the floods might have spread the tropical race 4 fungus that causes Fusarium wilt on Cavendish bananas.

Not so new gene discovery

Tuesday, 04 December 2012

In reaction to a blog post on the discovery of genes for resistance to black Sigatoka in Calcutta 4, Rodomiro Ortiz of the Dept. Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences reflects on a similar discovery two decades ago. It's also worth mentioning that black Sigatoka (black leaf streak) is not present in India, as the original blog post suggests.

The definitive end of the banana wars

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It turns out that the 2009 agreement on tariff reduction was only the beginning of the end of the banana wars. A number of legal steps were required before a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement could be signed, including the introduction of EU legislation and the separate ratification of the deal by individual countries. The definitive end of the banana wars was announced when the European Union and 10 Latin American countries signed an agreement to formally end eight separate WTO cases. Malcolm Borthwick, a business reporter with BBC News, analyses the impact of the end of the trade war.

The case for BBTV control in Australia

Tuesday, 06 November 2012

Fresh Plaza reports on the estimated benefits of excluding the Banana bunchy top virus from commercial banana plantations in Australia. The study published in PLOS ONE estimates that exclusion would avoid Aus$15.9-27.0 million in annual losses for the banana industry.

The place of bananas in a warming world

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Climate change will affect where bananas are grown, but the range of the crop is not expected to shrink, according to the policy brief Recalibrating Food Production in the Developing World. Bananas might lose out in areas where rainfall will decrease but warmer weather might allow the cultivation of certain varieties at higher altitudes. Bananas might even replace potatoes in places, echoed the BBC.

Xanthomonas wilt project recognized

Friday, 26 October 2012

The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) has given its 2012 Award for Best KARI Implemented Project to an effort mobilizing partnerships along banana value chains to mitigate the impact of Xanthomonas wilt and prevent resurgence of the disease in areas where it has been brought under control. The project is led by Bioversity International, in collaboration with KARI, the Ugandan National Agriculture Research Organization and other regional partners, and is funded by the McKnight Foundation.