Mozambican authorities culling banana trees to stop deadly virus
Agricultural authorities in Gaza province, southern Mozambique, are killing banana trees in the Chókwé district to prevent the spread of a deadly virus which attacks the crop . Banana circulation has also been banned.
Celso Rufasse, coordinator of the BBV virus control project, quoted by the daily newspaper O País, said that the felling of contaminated banana trees started in June and will go until December. Bananas from Chókwè will be in the meantime be banned from other markets.
After Panama Disease in northern Mozambique, this time it is the south’s turn. This time, it is the Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) which is threatening Chókwè production.
“This virus is lethal. Whether we kill the trees or not, they end up dying. But if we do not cull, the disease ends up spreading. The objective is to prevent the spread and to eradicate the disease,” project coordinator Celso Rufasse explained.
The cull began a month ago and will last until December.
“We have already culled about 30,000 plants in Chókwè. Approximately 100 producers in the area are affected ,” he added.
The cost of culling contaminated banana trees is estimated at 20 million meticais, which will be underwritten by South Africa and the United States of America.