About Banana Bunchy
The Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) is a virus that causes Banana Bunchy Top Disease in banana plants. The name refers to the “bunchy” top leaves of a banana plant, which is a clear and characteristic symptom of banana plants being affected with the virus.
This virus can be transmitted through two ways:
Banana aphids (Pentalonia nigronervosa)
Infected plant suckers
All banana varieties are hosts to the disease, but there is different level of symptom reactions between varieties. Alternative hosts include canna, heliconia and strelitzia.
Regular inspection of banana plants for symptoms is important to ensure timely detection of the virus.
Infected plants should be destructed by injecting a pesticide solution into the banana plant that attracts and kills the aphids.
A useful guide for banana producers in Mozambique regarding prevention guidelines, containment requirements and regulations has been published by the Department of Vegetal Sanitation (DSV) of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Banana Bunchy Top Virus
BBTV was first detected in Mozambique in 2007 in the Angonia district of Tete Province. Recently BBTV has been detected at a commercial farm in Chivongoene in the Guija district and at a small farm in the Chokwé district in Southern Mozambique.
BANANAMOZ, the Department of Vegetal Sanitation (DSV) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) are working together with the support of the USDA and TechnoServe on containment and prevention projects and innovative research in order to limit the impact this disease can have on banana production in Africa.