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Colombia has declared a national emergency after a destructive fungus was found on nearly 180 hectares of land used to grow bananas in the northeastern province of La Guajira

The fear of a worldwide banana shortage grows as Colombia declares the national emergency after it has found destructive fungus in the soil

  • The fungus has been discovered on 180 hectares in the province of La Guajira
  • It could stop the import of the five billion bananas that come to the UK every year
  • Genetic modification and exploitation of wild varieties can help to find a solution
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The hit number & # 39; Yes, we don't have bananas & # 39; from the 1920s was written after a worldwide shortage of popular fruit.

Now ditty threatens to become a reality again, while a devastating disease destroys the world's largest plantations.

Colombia has declared a national emergency after a destructive fungus was found in its soil.

Colombia has declared a national emergency after a destructive fungus was found on nearly 180 hectares of land used to grow bananas in the northeastern province of La Guajira

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Colombia has declared a national emergency after a destructive fungus was found on nearly 180 hectares of land used to grow bananas in the northeastern province of La Guajira

Since the 1990s, a fungus called Panama Disease has been spreading in Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Wherever it started, commercial growth stopped.

The consolation was that America, the largest producer, had remained untouched.

And now the Fusarium type 4 (TR4) organism was discovered over nearly 180 hectares in the northeastern province of La Guajira.

The situation is so serious that imports of the five billion bananas that come to the UK every year can be stopped.

All grown bananas are a species known as Cavendish and their lack of genetic diversity makes them vulnerable to extinction.

It is hoped that genetic modification and exploiting wild varieties can help find a solution.

The fungus can stop the import of the five billion bananas that come to the UK every year
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The fungus can stop the import of the five billion bananas that come to the UK every year

The fungus can stop the import of the five billion bananas that come to the UK every year

Bananas are the third largest agricultural export in Colombia, while neighboring country Ecuador is the largest grower in the world.

The Cavendish was first grown in the warm homes of the stately home of Chatsworth in Derbyshire of the Cavendish family, better known as the Dukes of Devonshire.

For decades it was the second place for the Gros Michel or Big Mike, in commercial cultivation. They were not the choice of the commercial growers – that was another banana, Gros Michel or Big Mike.

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But in the early 1920s, the Gros Michel fell victim to the first known strain of Panama disease, which destroyed it.

The Cavendish was resistant to this species and has supported the success of the industry for decades.

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