A wild, genetically-superior type of banana is on the verge of extinction, and the implications are huge for the survival of the world’s edible banana crop.The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has included the species (Ensete perrieri) on its official Red List, warning the world that, without proper conservation, the fruit could disappear forever.
Since the 1950s the Cavendish variety has held a monopoly on the banana market. But its dominance is not the result of taste or preference. Rather, grocery stores are stocked with the Cavendish variety because they are disease resistant. Specifically, they are resistant to Fusarium, a strain of fungus that wiped out the Cavendish’s popular predecessor in the mid-century, the Gros Michel.
In 2003 scientists predicted that bananas would be extinct within a decade, carried off by fungal diseases. And with the plants would go the worldwide commercial banana industry.Banana extinction. In 2003 Belgian plant pathologist Emile Frison of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain stated that the dominant commercial banana variety Cavendish may become extinct within 10 years. The limited genetic diversity of cultivated bananas (which is due to their asexual reproduction) make them vulnerable to diseases such as black Sigatoka (or a.Panama disease is a fungus (yep, that'll put you off your lunch) that affects the root of the Cavendish banana - the most common type in the world, with about five billion eaten every year in the.
The banana market is politically sensitive, and over the past decade the price of bananas in the UK has declined, while production costs have increased, placing pressure on producers. Via the WBF, the UK charity Banana Link and the food sector consultancy 3Keel we will engage the UK retail sector and other stakeholders in rigorous key informant analysis of potential responses to.Read More
The quest to save the banana from extinction. The Cavendish banana may have had a remarkable journey from colonial curiosity to global staple. But its success has helped create a food system with.Read More
A new study now finds that bananas are facing potential extinction. Researchers have cautioned about the imminent danger faced by the fruit, as a deadly tropical disease sweeps across crops worldwide.Read More
A Brief History. Bananas were originally found in South East Asia, mainly in India. They were brought west by Arab conquerors in 327 B.C. and moved from Asia Minor to Africa and finally carried to the New World by the first explorers and missionaries to the Caribbean. The mass production of bananas started in 1834 and really started exploding in the late 1880’s. 1 Before the 1870’s most.Read More
Ironically enough, the emphasis on Cavendish cultivation developed in response to a previous strain of Panama disease (TR1), which almost wiped out the Gros Michel banana (a popular export) in the 1950s. This time around, however, it doesn't appear that there's a new breed of banana capable of saving the day: few existent banana varieties can both withstand TR4 and handle the rigors of both.Read More
The only banana that seemed both pathogenresistant and similar to the Gros Michel was a banana called the Cavendish. The Cavendish tasted very different from the Gros Michel. It had “off flavors.Read More
Panama disease, an infection that ravages banana plants, has been sweeping across Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. The impact has been devastating. In the Philippines alone, losses.Read More
Until the 1950s, one variety, the Gros Michel, dominated the world’s commercial banana business. Found by French botanists in Asia in the 1820s, the Gros Michel was by all accounts a fine banana, richer and sweeter than today’s standard banana and without the latter’s bitter aftertaste when green. But it was vulnerable to a soil fungus that produced a wilt known as Panama disease.Read More
Gros Michel did well up until the 1950s. But then a fungus known as Fusarium wilt, or Panama disease, rapidly infected entire plantations, and caused a global collapse in the banana trade. The industry quickly found a replacement, a banana resistant to Panama disease, called the Cavendish. But while these new bananas were filling a growing.Read More
The quest to save the banana from extinction. To understand how we got here, we need to take a look back at the history of the banana, and in particular the middle of the last century, when a.Read More