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Millions face hunger as deadly fungus Panama disease decimates global banana crop

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posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:04 AM

Scientists have warned that the world’s banana crop, worth £26 billion and a crucial part of the diet of more than 400 million people, is facing “disaster” from virulent diseases immune to pesticides or other forms of control.

Alarm at the most potent threat – a fungus known as Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) – has risen dramatically after it was announced in recent weeks that it has jumped from South-east Asia, where it has already devastated export crops, to Mozambique and Jordan.

Scientists are particularly concerned about the impact of TR4 across the developing world, where an estimated 410 million people rely on the fruit for up to a third of their daily calories.

According to one estimate, TR4 could destroy up to 85 per cent of the world’s banana crop by volume.

It can wipe out plantations within two or three years and despite measures to try to prevent its spread from the original outbreak in Indonesia, it is now on the move. Such is the virulence of soil-based fungus, it can be spread in water droplets or tiny amounts of earth on machinery or shoes.

That seems as very serious issue. For us, in the advanced nations, it does not change much, just one less option in the assortment, but for many people in the third-world this truly means staying hungry. In poorer nations, hunger is a serious issue already, now this can mean a third less calories daily, as there are not much other options either. I hope somehow it will be managed to get under control, before it will have very serious impact on the plantations.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:08 AM
Is this the part where GMO companies get to play hero ?

Just saying....

edit on 0093033040943th by LightningStrikesHere because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 03:17 AM
reply to post by LightningStrikesHere

If the problem is as bad as stated, this is one of the few cases, where I do believe GM-plants would be handy - GM-plants are something that should be used only in crisis situations like this (if it as bad as stated), not just to save money/increase profits/output.

Although, personally I have zero belief in profit-based GM companies, as their actions have only one goal - profiteering.

I believe it is important to research such things, although not by private entities. I hope some day people realise the dangers of this and some international system will start to work, where every country is required to put something in the research facilities, which would work only to find solutions for the crisis situations and if a team from some country finds some solution, it is available to every else. No private profits, no private entities,no patents - just scientists on the payroll+equipment.
edit on 11-4-2014 by Cabin because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 05:55 AM
i'll have to look into this. being in a "banana producing country, in south east Asia", i have heard nothing about this until now. i find that rather interesting, since it would have a pretty big effect, and would thus be big news here. haven't found anything more recent than from 2012 doing a quick search on it. nothing at all in the news.

brought this up at supper, and none of the household have heard anything about any issues with the banana crop.
edit on 11-4-2014 by generik because: added

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 07:34 AM
This isn't the first time something like this has happened with bananas. Check out this very cool and informative video about the history of the modern banana.

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 07:43 AM
reply to post by Nucleardoom

Very cool and informative video.
Thanks for the find!

posted on Apr, 11 2014 @ 07:44 AM
There goes my daily requirement of Banana splits

I guess I shall have to eat KnickerBocker Glory instead.

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