Tag Archives: diseases

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease:Dissmination of FAO News Article

The News Article entitled,”FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease” will be very helpful for the banana farmers and plant pathologists and extensionists of agricultural agencies for information and awareness creation.Hence is has been published in this website for further dissemination and awareness creation. .The News Article may be accessed at the following link:  http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/223409/icode/

 

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease

Following its spread to Africa and the Middle East, Fusarium wilt TR4 increases the risks to livelihoods and banana markets

Photo: ©FAO/Fazil Dusunceli

Diseased banana plants.

14 April 2014, Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning countries to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention of one of the world’s most destructive banana diseases, Fusarium wilt, which recently spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, and which has the potential to affect countries in Latin America.

The TR4 race of the disease, which is also known as Panama disease, is posing a serious threat to production and export of the popular fruit, with serious repercussions for the banana value chain and livelihoods, FAO said in an information brief.

Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world’s least-developed countries, according to FAOSTAT, the UN agency’s  data-gathering and analysis service.

“Any disease or constraint that affects bananas is striking at an important source of food, livelihoods, employment and government revenues in many tropical countries,” said Gianluca Gondolini, Secretary of the World Banana Forum. The Forum, whose Secretariat is based at FAO headquarters, promotes sustainable banana production and trade.

“The spread of Fusarium wilt banana disease could have a significant impact on growers, traders and families who depend on the banana industry,” Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, said. “Countries need to act now if we are to avoid the worst-case scenario, which is massive destruction of much of the world’s banana crop,” said Dusunceli.

Recommended action

At the country level, FAO specifically advises:

  • Awareness raising at all levels and adoption of appropriate risk assessment, surveillance and early warning systems;
  • Implementation of phytosanitary measures to prevent the spread of the disease through agricultural practices, irrigation and drainage systems, transportation, vehicles, containers, tools or visitors;
  • Preventive measures, including quarantines, the use of disease-free planting materials, prevention of movement of infected soil and planting materials into and out of farms, and disinfection of vehicles;
  • Capacity building in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) in planning, extension and research, including the use of rapid and accurate diagnostic tools;
  • Training of technical officers, producers and farm workers in disease identification, prevention and management under field conditions, and appropriate instructions to visitors.

While other races of the disease have existed for many years, TR4 has caused significant losses in banana plantations in Southeast Asia over the last two decades, and has recently been reported in Mozambique and Jordan.

TR4 infects the Cavendish banana varieties, which dominate global trade, as well as other susceptible varieties used for local consumption and markets. Despite damage to the banana plant and to production, the fruit itself remains edible.

Soil-borne disease

Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc). The disease is soil-borne and the fungus can remain viable for decades.  Once the disease is present in a field, it cannot be fully controlled by currently available practices and fungicides. The best way to fight the disease is to prevent its spread, which includes avoiding movement of diseased plant materials and infected soil particles.

“We need to raise awareness of this threat, coordinate efforts among countries and institutions for effective implementation of appropriate quarantine measures, and also work with banana producers, traders, plantation employees and smallholder farmers to help to minimize the spread of the disease,” Dusunceli said. He also highlighted the importance of research in better understanding the disease and developing alternative varieties that are disease resistant.

FAO’s information note stresses the importance of using disease-free seedlings and avoiding movement of infected soil and planting materials into, and out of, farms, through transportation, visitors or other means.

“A concerted effort is required from stakeholders including the industry, research institutions, governments and international organizations to prevent spread of the disease,” the note reads.

Raising awareness

FAO and its partners, including the World Banana Forum (WBF), the scientific community and the banana industry are among those making efforts to increase awareness of the inherent threat of TR4.

The issue will be on the agenda of a series of upcoming meetings in Kenya, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of addressing a range of issues related to TR4, including developing action plans for its prevention, monitoring and containment.

The banana crop is vulnerable to a number of diseases in various parts of the world, including the Black Sigatoka disease, Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) and Fusarium Wilt, but Fusarium’s soil-borne nature makes it especially challenging.

 

Cold Wave Hits Bangladesh:Is it An Indication of Climate Change?

The winter in Bangladesh was generally considered as pleasant.Usually lifestyle change in this season and many activities like,visiting countryside with family and friends, picnic,travels,sightseeing,festivals,fairs,ceremonies take place in this season.Many exotic and indigenous vegetables and fruits give the markets a colorful look and consumers make delicious  food items.One special activity in the winter of Bangladesh is making of various types of country cakes(locally called pitha) with rice,coconut,molasses made from the sap of  date palm,spices and many other ingredients.People generally relish these traditional food items when the invasion of imported foreign and locally machine made  packaged food items flood the market.

Foreign tourists also enjoy the pleasant winter weather of Bangladesh as it is almost similar to the summer of the west.This is why many foreigners from  the whole world and the migrant Bangladeshi people visit Bangladesh during winter.Cool temperature without any trouble of mud making rain give  delightful experience.

But,this winter that has started in December,2012 and rolled to January,2013 is different.Several cold waves have crippled the life of common people.They are struggling frantically to protect themselves from the bite of the shivering cold.Most people lack  sufficient warm clothing and this they are helpless in the foggy and wintry weather.Many children and old people have fallen victims of biting cold weather.News media reported 22 cases of death of humans up to 10 January.2013 .

The temperature in this winter has been recorded as the lowest in 58 years.Though the variation of temperature in different areas of the country may present a wrong picture about the severity of cold wave in particular places.The lowest temperature recorded in Dinajpur on 9 January,2013 was 3.2 degree Celsius while the highest was recorded in Cox’s Bazaar which was 11.8 degree Celsius.

Historically,the lowest temperature was recorded in Bangladesh in Srimangal, Moulvibazaar.The temperature was 2.8 degree Celsius and the day was 4 February,1968.The cold  temperature is mostly influenced by  various phenomena of weather.It has been observed that the adverse effects are many.Many kinds of diseases affect people in cold weather,domestic animals suffer badly in such weather.Crops like paddy  and potato production are badly affected by cold weather.The seedlings of winter paddy,called Boro rice get stunted by severe cold while potato may be damaged by fungal diseases like early and late blight.Mustard is another major crop of Bangladesh of winter which adds beauty to the nature by  its vast expanses of yellow flowers.This crop may be devastated by the attack of an insect pest called Aphid in the foggy weather.

The winter is one of six   vital  seasons of  Bangladesh.It would be a blessing unless the the people is devastated by cold waves.

This year the cold waves are biting hard causing great sufferings to peoples.Should we view the current winter as any indication

of climate change?I welcome the opinion of  experts in this discipline.

I will continue to update this article on the basis of real situation and opinion of experts.