In Central America:
The government in Costa Rica, one of the biggest suppliers of the fruit, has
already declared a “national emergency” over the state of its crop.
The country’s half-a-billion-dollar banana export industry has been hit by
two separate plagues of mealybugs and scale insects, with up to 20 per cent of
its produce written off.
Magda Gonzalez, the director of the agriculture ministry’s State
Phytosanitary Services (SFE), told The Tico Times last week that climate change
had boosted insect populations in recent years, making plagues increasingly
likely across the world.
In Asia, Africa, Jordan, and Australia:
Meanwhile, a Scientific American report warned of a variant of banana-eating
fungus which is currently threatening key plantations around the world.
Scientists believed the disease, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum
f. sp.cubense (Foc), was limited to parts of Asia and Australia. Yet it has
now been found in Jordan and Mozambique, and in a new strain to which the vast
majority of bananas are susceptible.
“It’s a gigantic problem,” said Rony Swennen, a breeder at the International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
-from Britain's The Independent, noted on the current Drudge Report, and brought to my attention by Carol.
Here's the link to the Scientific American report.
Meanwhile, we have two stalks currently on our trees, but our little grove is in grave need of some TLC. I'll get on it.