On November 21, a news analysis on TR4’s transcontinental leap was posted on the ProMusa: Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods website. The analysis indicates that tropical race 4 (TR4) strain of Fusarium wilt (also known as Panama disease) has been confirmed in Jordan, a location much closer to Ethiopia than other countries where the disease has been seen.
TR4 is a serious soil-borne disease that has the potential to cause a major agricultural catastrophe in a country. Ethiopia’s banana sector could easily be a victim of this disease if necessary precautions are not taken by the concerned bodies. The analysis elaborates further on measures that need to be taken to control the disease from entering the county – by designating TR4 as a quarantine pest and other means.
Considering the extent of damage that this disease could cause, Bioversity International has released recommendations to prevent the entrance of quarantine plant diseases of major economic importance for banana. See the recommendations
(Contributed by Kahsay Berhe)