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Two new banana varieties could help manage Panama disease

The development of new banana varieties by the Southern Mindanao Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (Smaarrdec) is only one of the means to “manage” Fusarium Wilt or Panama disease among bananas said a Smaarrdec official.

Smaarrdec, a consortium of 25 different government agencies, local government units (LGUs), and state universities and colleges implementing research and development initiatives, is still currently on its research and development projects in coming up with other Panama disease-resistant varieties of bananas.

According to Smaarrdec Regional Research and Development Coordinating Council chair doctor Lourdes Generalao, the consortium had been helping in managing the problem of Fusarium Wilt or Panama disease infestation by developing two varieties such as the GCTCB 218 and the GCTCB 219, which are believed to be disease-resistant.

A number of banana farmers in the region have started using the varieties in the hopes of lessening, if not fully avoid, the infestation. “As long as the disease is there, they can only be managed but not fully eradicated. That’s the basic principle there because with Fusarium, it is soil-born. So anything that touches the soil can be a potential vector. That’s why we use the word ‘manage’ because we only contain the population of the disease at a level that is not very destructive,” said Generalao.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

Publication date: 8/24/2017


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