We’ve got a Code Yellow on our hands here, bros, and the future of bananas looks very grim after a recent study from the University of California, Davis. A recent study published by UC Davis outlines their fight to derail what is being called a potential ‘banana armageddon’, and no matter how badly you think things are for the global banana industry you can rest assured that things are much worse.
In reality, the global banana industry could be wiped out in just five to 10 years by fast-advancing fungal diseases. And that would prove devastating to millions of small-scale farmers who depend on the fruit for food, fiber and income. Already, Sigatoka — a three-fungus disease complex — reduces banana yields by 40 percent.
As noted within the study the danger bananas are facing is a three-fold disease, or what they are calling ‘three diseases in one’. Already these diseases are reducing the global banana industry yield by roughly 40%, and things don’t look to be getting better any time soon.
The banana is one of the world’s top five staple foods. About 100 million tons of bananas are produced annually in nearly 120 countries. But the fruit suffers from an “image problem,” giving consumers the appearance that it is and always will be readily available, says Stergiopoulos. It’s an image problem that he fears could prove fatal to the entire banana industry in the very near future.
n reality, the global banana industry could be wiped out in just 5 to 10 years by fast-advancing fungal diseases. And that would prove devastating to millions of small-scale farmers who depend on the fruit for food, fiber, and income. Already, Sigatoka — a three-fungus disease complex — reduces banana yields by 40 percent.
The Sigatoka complex’s three fungal diseases—yellow Sigatoka (Pseudocercospora musae), eumusae leaf spot (Pseudocercospora eumusae), and black Sigatoka (Pseudocercospora figiensis) — emerged as destructive pathogens in just the last century. Eumusae leaf spot and black Sigatoka are now the most devastating, with black Sigatoka posing the greatest constraint to banana production worldwide.
If you’ve ever traveled abroad through Central America and/or the Caribbean and passed by banana plantations then chances are you noticed that those plantations weren’t located on the wealthiest parts of the region. They’re usually very poor outposts, and these farmers cannot afford to keep up with the crazy fungicide required to fight off the three-fold diseases attacking the global banana industry.
My advice? Just to plant some banana trees in your backyard this weekend. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m live down in Florida and I’ve already got two banana trees in my backyard or I’d plant some new ones. So go plant some banana trees AND start eating as many bananas as possible, drive up the demand, and hopefully, we can get the global farmers some more money to pay for the required fungicide.
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