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Pathogens are Killing the Banana Crops


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A good friend who is in the agriculture business here in Chiriqui recently forwarded some information that is alarming about the future of banana crops, not only in Panama, but apparently in many parts of the world. It seems that a disease called Panama Disease is jumping international borders and threatening banana crops around the world. An extract from the Washington Post reads:


And there is no known way to stop it—or even contain it.

As I scanned over some of this documentation, I came across an interesting statistic. The assertion is that there are more bananas sold around the world than all oranges and apples combined. I am more than somewhat skeptical about such a claim. But I diverge from the main topic here.

I like bananas, and hope that these prediction about the loss of some 95+% of the world's banana crops is wrong.

This banana disease has implications not only for banana crops and the banana growers here in Chiriqui in particular, but also for agricultural activities in Panama in general.

Here are some links to online articles about this situation (not an exhaustive list):

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For some reason this story about Panama Disease has been making the rounds on social media lately. The disease is nothing new, and will likely take quite a few years to radically affect crops in the Americas. Eventually it will, though, so there is only one alternative - develop a strain of banana plants that are more resistant to this disease than the current Cavendish variety.

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In the 8 1/2 years we've been here I find that some plants like it in my yard and some don't.  The ones that don't get pulled and tossed over into  the canyon. We opted vs. grass and have gravel with beds here and there.   In those beds are the plants that seem to enjoy our company.   Little by little we have a sustainable yard with very little maintenance. R5YSYs.jpg

That's a Mango tree we bought when it was two feet tall.  It's now above our roof top ( 10 ft taller than you see here) and requires yearly pruning. We bought it in 2008 .  It blossoms in the windy season and all the young fruit just blow off then bugs get the rest.  We've had about 3 good mangoes from it.   If you want a fast growing tree but not necessarily mango fruit...this is the one.  Looking on it now...we might have made another choice.  The pretty cane like maroon looking plant to the left of Bill is a weed.  It was pretty at first in front of our house then it took over.  Took my husband three days to dig out the root and get rid of it.   Still learning !!!!  The gravel vs grass ?   Yup happy with that choice.

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