In December 2013, the World Banana Forum (WBF) established the ‘TR4 Task Force’ headed by an ad-hoc committee of Steering Committee members and WBF partners. The WBF’s TR4 Task Force has been created to facilitate information sharing and international dialogue to enable the development and implementation of action plans to prevent the spread of this fungus strain which threatens global export production.
Panama disease, or fusarium wilt, TR4 has infested banana plantations in Asia and has worryingly recently been reported in Jordan and Mozambique. Once present the disease cannot be controlled by common chemicals or current crop management practices. The WBF TR4 Task Force has implemented a sector wide action plan to tackle and manage the current crisis. Actions include; awareness raising campaigns, adoption of early warning systems, training programmes, development of control and management systems and the development of alternative banana cultivations. So far the WBF TR4 Task Force has been highly proactive, conducting international phone conferences, bilateral meetings, setting up press releases and interviews and providing online information about the threat posed by TR4.
By networking, funding, informing and promoting more sustainable banana production models, the WBF TR4 Task Force is taking positive and constructive steps to ensure that further spread of this strain is controlled. This Task Force is another example of how efforts to create a more sustainable banana industry are being significantly enhanced by the ongoing collaborate activities of the World Banana Forum.
Previous Banana Link news on TR4