About Panama Disease
Banana Fusarium Wilt (also called Panama Disease), has been a known disease affecting banana production over the past decades. The disease is caused by a fungus that prevents the banana plant to receive nutrition and water. Without the required water and nutrition, the plant wilts and eventually dies. The fungus spreads through contaminated soil, which means it is not only possible to be spread by plant material but also by vehicles, clothes, footwear and tools. The Tropical Race 4 strain of this disease was confirmed to be present in Northern Mozambique in 2013 and has a potential destructive impact on banana production across the country.
As the fungus stays active in the soil for decades, it is nearly impossible to eradicate the disease. Because of this, prevention measures, early detection and immediate reporting of symptoms are critical to contain it.
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.
Photo by Altus Viljoen
Photo by Queensland Government
Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 was confirmed to be present in Northern Mozambique in July 2013. Realizing this and to prevent its spread throughout the country, the National Phytosanitary Authority (NPA) has instituted quarantine measures in this region. Currently three farms are infected in the northern provinces.
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.