Banana Crops at Risk: A Fungus Among Us?

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June 24 (Bloomberg) -- “Banana” Author Dan Koeppel discusses the fungus threatening banana supplies with Pimm Fox on “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)


Aren't all bananas the same?

In terms of what we see at the supermarket, yes.

This is the cavendish banana.

There are 1000 other paredes around the world.

We never see them here.

Let's never -- talk about this fungus.

Where is it happening right now?

Rex the fungus has been chasing the banana around the world created appeared in the late 1980's in asia and it has spread from asia through the south pacific into indonesia, australia, and in the past six months it has appeared in africa for the first time.

It has yet to hit latin america.

Most folks including meet believe it is only a matter of time.

Is there any work done to stop this spread of this fungus?

There is a lot of work being done to stop the spread but one of the things we have to acknowledge is this fungus is most likely on curable.

Any work has to be done to find a different kind of banana that is resistant.

That means that all the bananas that are being grown in the western hemisphere will have to be replaced by a new variety.

Unless some miracle happens and a cure is found and people have been searching for decades.

There is going to have to be a new variety or hopefully many varieties available at the market.

We said -- should see a shift.

What role do bananas lay in the nutrition of the world?

In the world the banana in many parts of the world is the prime source of calories.

In uganda people eat 500 pounds a year.

They would starve without bananas.

In the u.s. we eat 25 pounds.

More than apples and oranges combined.

It remains the cheapest, most important fruit in the supermarket.

If this is such an important piece of the food chain i hasn't more been done to eradicate this and create a new banana?

The answer is monoculture.

We have to keep bananas cheap.

The cheapest fruit in the supermarket even though it should not be.

It is imported from great distances and it is very parish will.

They pretty much focus on this one variety because that is the one they know how to grow cheapest.

Until recently they have not had to worry about whether it will go away.

To change for righties will require a massive retooling of the industry.

From growing to shipping to marketing.

What about the color and taste?

Consumers expect something pacific --specific.

Will they have to change as well?

I have tasted over 200. the cavendish can -- is very bland.

In india where they grow more bananas, it is called the hotel banana because it is served to tourists.

They have to develop means to

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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