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.
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.