News and analysis

Putting news on bananas in context

The challenge of sustainability

Anne Vézina Friday, 25 November 2011
Sustainability thumbnail
Can the origin of a banana indicate whether its production is sustainable?
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A global effort to contain a global threat

Anne Vézina Thursday, 24 November 2011
Image Recent advances have paved the way for a global effort to address the dreaded TR4 fungus.
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The effect of tillage on soil and yield

Anne Vézina Wednesday, 19 October 2011
tillage mulch
Tillage is usually not an issue in perennial banana cropping systems, but scientists in the West French Indies looked into the matter to determine whether periodical tillage is necessary to maintain high yield.
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The economics of intensifying East African highland banana systems in Uganda

Anne Vézina Wednesday, 05 October 2011
Roadside market in Uganda
Nearly two-thirds of the bananas produced in Uganda are transported over long distances to reach their markets, a situation that offers limited scope for the sustainable intensification of these faraway banana systems, according to a study by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
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Will growing bananas in the subtropics become easier with climate change?

Anne Vézina Tuesday, 04 October 2011
Current suitability for growing rainfed bananas (top) and projected suitability in 2020 (middle) and 2050 (bottom). Suitability is highest in the dark green areas and lowest in the red ones. White areas are unsuitable.
Growing bananas in the subtropics presents its own set of challenges, as the talks presented at a symposium on bananas in the subtropics confirmed. Not surprisingly many participants were keen on finding out what climate change models say about the future suitability of the subtropics for growing bananas.
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Lessons from introducing FHIA-21

Anne Vézina Wednesday, 20 July 2011
A study analyses the factors that favoured the adoption of FHIA-21 in the Dominican Republic.
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The spread of Xanthomonas wilt in Burundi

Anne Vézina Friday, 15 July 2011
BXW Burundi 70x70
Recent observations of Xanthomonas wilt in Burundi show that the disease is spreading in the border provinces.
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Banana pathogens: how to leave them behind when travelling

Anne Vézina Wednesday, 06 July 2011
Recommendations 70x70
Banana scientists are warned about the risk of spreading pests and diseases.
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Revisiting a popular reference book

Anne Vézina Wednesday, 09 March 2011
David W. Turner reviews the second edition of John Robinson’s well-known book on bananas and plantains.
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Engineered for survival

Anne Vézina Monday, 07 March 2011
James Dale uf Queensland University of Technology
Cavendish bananas that have been genetically engineered to outsmart the causal agent of Fusarium wilt will be tested in field trials in Australia.
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Xanthomonas wilt gets the sequencing treatment

Anne Vézina Saturday, 05 March 2011
Taking advantage of the technological developments that make sequencing genomes increasingly affordable, scientists compared the genome of the causal agent of Xanthomonas wilt with the one of a closely related strain.
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Bananas of origin

Anne Vézina Thursday, 24 February 2011
Costa Rica cleared the first hurdle to obtain a protected geographical status for its bananas. An example for other banana-producing countries?
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A new threat to Cavendish bananas?

Anne Vézina Monday, 21 February 2011
The Cavendish bananas that developed Fusarium wilt following infection with a race 1 strain were grown under good conditions.
The discovery in India of Cavendish bananas developing symptoms of Fusarium wilt as a result of being infected with a race 1 strain is as perplexing as it is worrisome.
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Taking stock of banana breeding

Anne Vézina Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Ivan W. Buddenhagen’s introduction to a new book on the progresses made in breeding bananas. The book covers all aspects of breeding and genetics, including biotechnology.
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Creation of a forum for stakeholders of the banana industry

Anne Vézina Wednesday, 05 January 2011
Latino forum
The World Banana Forum was launched last December at the headquarters of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome to provide a permanent space for stakeholders to discuss the challenges facing the banana industry.
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