Some banana plant parts from the Philippines have been banned from export to the US, in an attempt to prevent the spread of a plant disease. Last Friday, the United States notified the World Trade Organization that it would no longer allow importation of some plant parts of all banana and plantain species of Musa spp. and the banana species Abyssinian from Australia and several Asian countries, including the Philippines.
Effective May 21, the order applies to rooted plants, rooted and unrooted cuttings, roots, and rhizomes in countries where the banana fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum or Foc TR4 is known to occur. The United States plant health inspection service said that the pathogen “poses a serious threat to US agriculture.”
The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture in September said it would set aside more than P260 million (€4.4 mln) to support the rehabilitation of farms hit by the Panama disease or fusarium wilt caused by the soil-borne fungus. The funding would also finance the development of disease-resistant varieties.