Without Fungicides, the Worldwide Export of Bananas Would Collapse

About 34 billion pounds of bananas are exported around the world from tropical plantations. Black Sigatoka is the most important disease of bananas worldwide. The disease causes infected plant tissue to collapse; all leaves can be destroyed and bunches of unripe bananas can fall to the ground. Black Sigatoka is well controlled in export plantations thanks to fungicides.

“Without the frequent use of fungicides, the export trades could not control black Sigatoka and, thus, would be unable to produce profitable quantities of high quality fruit.”

“Despite recent advances in banana breeding, there are currently no resistant cultivars that could be used to replace [the most common cultivar] ‘Grand Nain’. Thus, fungicidal control of this disease will remain an absolute necessity in order for the trades to continue producing high quality fruit in the humid tropics.”

Author: R. Ploetz
Affiliation: Tropical Research & Education Center, University of Florida
Title: Black Sigatoka.
Publication: Pesticide Outlook. 2000. February:19-23.

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