Updated 06:49 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 26, 2020

World's Favorite Banana About to Go Extinct Due to Unstoppable Panama Disease

  • +
  • -
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE
Close

The Cavendish, the world's most popular banana specie, is about to be extinct as a virulent, banana-killing disease is crossing seas to kill every single tree in Panama, according to experts.

According to study by Wageningen University scientists, published in the PLOS Pathogens, the fungus that ravaged banana trees in East and Southeast Asia in the 1960s has already crossed the seas to inflict damage on the ones in Latin America, which cover over three fifths of the world's banana supplies.

This particular fungus strain, which had been named the "Tropical Race 4," is also wreaking havoc in banana farms in China, the Philippines, South Asia, Australia, Jordan, Pakistan, Mozambique, the Middle East, and Africa in 2013 and has already reached a country in Latin America: Panama.

While the fungus is no stranger to the country, Quartz believes that the strategies being used in Panama, where the disease has already been spreading, are not effective at all.

In fact, a report from Medical Daily revealed that the disease has already driven another species of banana into extinction.

"Panama disease isn't new. It drove another type of banana crop, the Gros Michel, found in Costa Rica and Panama, to near-extinction in the 1960s. It took 20 years for researchers to pinpoint the exact fungus (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense) that was causing the devastation," the report explained.

According to "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World" author, Dan Koeppel, (via the Huffington Post), this species of banana has a "more robust taste" and is "more creamy."

Now, the researchers believe that "drastic strategy changes" should be made in order to impede the surefire extinction of the blander-tasting bananas that have become one of the world's favorite fruits.

According to their findings, doing a quarantine of the infected crops as well as those that have already potentially caught the fungus is not very effective in ridding the country of the disease.

"This research demonstrates that the quarantine measures and information provided around the globe apparently have not had the desired effect," co-author Gert Kema explained via a press release.

Aside from that, they also think banana growers should provide a hefty investment for the research of such disease in order to save the world's most popular fruit.

"Developing new banana cultivars, however, requires major investments in research and development and the recognition of the banana as a global staple and cash crop that supports the livelihoods of millions of small-holder farmers," the research conclusion reads.

© 2015 Latin One. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
  • Sign up to receive the lastest news from LATINONE

Curiosidades

Real Time Analytics