Right now we’re enjoying low prices on bananas but there’s about to be a big problem that could wreak havoc for farmers and consumers.
A fungus, known as Panama Disease, which first appeared in Australia in the late 1800s, is back and threatening the existence of the Cavendish banana. What’s worrying both farmers and consumers right now is that there is no known way to stop it or its spread.
According to a new study published in PLOS Pathogens, there has been a confirmed outbreak of the Panama Disease – something agricultural scientists have feared since the last banana disease outbreak in the 90s. What’s worse is that the latest strain is a mutant of the typical Panama Disease, meaning banana stocks could get dangerously low.
Researchers are now warning that the strain has spread to Australia and will eventually make its way to Latin America, where the vast majority of the world’s exported bananas are still grown.
There are no ifs about this situation: it’s when that we need to be worried and prepared for.
Scientists believe the outbreak of the banana disease is threatening bananas because of the way they are grown – they grow side by side and are a type of clone fruit when commercially produced.
It’s only a matter of time before the price of imported and locally grown bananas rise, as we saw them do in the 2011 floods. And our beloved Cavendish could soon be no more.
Tell us, will you be stocking up? Are you a banana fan?