Disease threatens world's bananas: United Nations
April 15, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
ROME--The United Nations warned on Monday of the potential "massive destruction" of the world's banana crop if a disease affecting the most popular variety spreads from Asia to Africa and the Middle East.
The disease is "posing a serious threat to production and export" of bananas, the fourth most important food crop for the world's least developed countries, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement.
"Countries need to act now if we are to avoid the worst-case scenario, which is massive destruction of much of the world's banana crop," Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, was quoted as saying.
Gianluca Gondolini, secretary of the World Banana Forum, said it could hurt "employment and government revenues in many tropical countries."
The TR4 strain of Panama disease, which is one of the world's most destructive and affects the Cavendish variety — the most popular in global exports.