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Malaysia: New weapon against banana disease

Banana farmers in Malaysia have a new weapon against a major disease called Moko, which had reduced the production of the commercial fruit.

Moko or Ralstonia solanacearum bacterium is a disease affecting banana production worldwide but took hold in Malaysia after a major flood afflicted Johor in 2007.

Since then, the production of bananas in commercial farms has been dwindling as the disease spread to other parts of the peninsular.

As a result of this, Provet Group of Companies Sdn Bhd together with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and the Agricultural Department experimented on a supplement called IMO-Plus to combat the disease.

A trial run carried out on a small farm in Johor last year for six months had proven effective and together with the Selangor Agriculture Department, the company conducted another trial run in Kampung Jenderam Hulu, Sepang.

Provet's development director Nasrun Din said, "A six-month monitoring showed that there was a 60% chance of success.

"We then extended its trial to120 cluster with weekly monitoring done and showed a 70% success rate," he said.

Nasrun said that the company has sent the product to UTM and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) for further tests.


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