Deathwatch: Bananas!

17 December 2013

ARRRRRGH! The fate of the banana could be in jeopardy, thanks to plagues of bugs and banana related infections that are currently sweeping Costa Rican banana crops.

sad bananas

The bugs, called mealybugs, might sound like cosy little critters made up by Roald Dahl, but they’re a menace to our yellow, fruity friends. Along with their partners in crime, scale bugs, they’ve destroyed almost 20% of banana crops – and the problem is so bad that Costa Rica has declared a national banana emergency.

Magda Gonzalez, from the agricultural ministry, said the reason the bugs - which weaken the plants and cause discolouration on the fruit - were spreading was clear. ‘I can tell you with near certainty that climate change is behind these pests.’

But the problem isn’t just confined to Costa Rica, or bugs. Scientists have also found a strain of fungus, catchily named Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.cubense (Foc), in banana crops as widespread as Mozambique and Jordan. Experts are now worried that the plague will spread to the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean, where 80% of bananas are grown.

We need help, otherwise our favourite fruit will die!

If this isn't a case for Bananaman, I don't know what is.

2 comments

  • Jerry
    Who eats bannanas if you can have Passion Fruit, Lychee, Dragon Fruit and Mango etc? We don't live in Victorian times, eating an 'exotic' banana with knife and fork, whilst hangung up an pineapple for decoration only. Who cares about bananas? They are just one step up from apples!
  • james
    Most bananas died out earlier last century due to disease (as all bananas are clones it is very easy for them to be wiped out. The version that we eat today is different to the one that our parents ate as children. We'll just have to move on to the next best variety again and start eating those. ps bananas are gross

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