The responsibility of effectuating of a program to help Australian banana growers deal with Panama TR4 disease has been handed to a new board. The Queensland Government announced in April that the Panama TR4 Program will now be handled by a board consisting of both industry and government representatives.
The management board will oversee the continued delivery and governance of the Panama TR4 Program, which was developed to help manage the soil-borne disease after it was first detected in the Tully Valley in 2015.
The Queensland Government and the Australian Banana Growers' Council (ABGC) will jointly fund, govern and deliver the program until June 30, 2023.
Board member and ABGC director, Andrew Serra, said the ABGC had secured the support of banana growers to proceed with the jointly funded and delivered model, to ensure the best possible protection to the national banana industry. "Panama TR4 remains one of the greatest, if not the greatest, challenge facing our industry. The collaborative efforts of growers, government and researchers have been able to limit the spread of this disease since 2015, but the work needs to continue to protect the livelihood of our growers and the wider industry.”
"I encourage all growers to take the opportunity to provide input to the board through their ABGC representatives, when necessary."
Queensland agriculture minister, Mark Furner, said the under the new collaborative arrangement, industry and government will have equal decision-making responsibilities on the board to ensure the program continued to be effective and run efficiently.