The National Research Centre for Bananas (NRCB) has said that the widely consumed banana variety called Grand Naine (G-9), which had been resistant to Fusarium wilt disease for the last three decades, has finally become susceptible to a new strain called Fusarium wilt TR4.
If left unchecked, it could cause a serious threat to the banana industry as the variety accounts for $20 billion in global trade. The NRCB says that efforts are being made to manage the disease through various programmes.
Addressing a high-level workshop in Trichy on Wednesday, NRCB director S. Uma said that the Tropical Race 4 of Fusarium wilt had a potential to devastate the banana industry within a short time span, if not contained on a war footing. She emphasized the need to sensitize the tissue culture companies about the disease as it was confined to some parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and TC companies had the responsibility of producing quality disease-free planting material for banana farmers.