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Report of the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum

Geveva, Switzerland, 8-9 November 2017










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Preventing the spread and introduction of banana fusarium wilt disease Tropical race 4 (TR4)
    Guide for travelers
    2020
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    Banana is an important crop for food security and ensuring the livelihoods of approximately 400 million people who depend on the crop either as a staple food or source of income, particularly in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Plant pests and diseases can seriously affect agricultural production and livelihood of rural people. Fusarium wilt of banana is one of the key examples of crop devastation by a plant disease. This disease brought the banana export industry almost to a halt in the 20th century when the popular banana variety Gros Michel was devastated in Central America. The sector was saved by the introduction of the Cavendish variety, which is resistant to race 1 of the fungus. However, Cavendish bananas are now succumbing to a new, highly aggressive strain of the Fusarium wilt fungus, Tropical race 4 (TR4). Fusarium wilt TR4 threatens almost all banana producers, posing the greatest risks to countries producing Cavendish bananas in monoculture plantations in Asia, Australia, Africa, the Near East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Cavendish bananas, which constitute approximately half of the bananas grown globally are highly susceptible to TR4, but other dessert banana varieties grown in these regions are also susceptible. Once established in a banana plantation, the fungus can survive in the soil for decades with its chlamydospores, even without banana plants. Scientific reports indicate the presence of TR4 in numerous countries in Asia (China – mainland and Taiwan Province), India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar,
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    Prevention and diagnostic of Fusarium Wilt (Panama disease) of banana caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 (TR4). Technical Manual 2014
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    Global banana production is seriously threatened by the re-emergence of a Fusarium Wilt. The disease, caused by the soil-borne fungi Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) and also known as “Panama disease”, wiped out the Gros Michel banana industry in Central America and the Caribbean, in the mid-twentieth century. The effects of Foc Race 1 were overcome by a shift to resistant Cavendish cultivars, which are currently the source of 99% of banana exports.
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    WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT IN THE BANANA INDUSTRY 2017
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    Women represent on average 43% of the agricultural workforce in developing countries. In most developing regions, agriculture is the main source of revenue for rural women. However, they typically earn less than men and have less job stability. In the banana industry, there is a tendency for women to be more represented in smaller scale production for domestic and regional markets while men tend to be more present in large scale banana production for the international export market. The World Ba nana Forum Working Group on Gender Equity launched a study in 2014, funded by FAO, to investigate and analyse the diverse levels of women’s employment in the banana export industry in the major production regions of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

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