Research AreasAgrobiodiversity, Crops, Seed Systems, Soils
TimelineStart Date: 1 July 2009 | End Date: 30 June 2013
Bananas and plantains (Musa) are grown in more than 120 countries throughout the tropics and subtropics, 85% of which are produced by small-scale farmers for home consumption or for sale in local and national markets. As such they sustain rural livelihoods and food security. Musa includes a wide range of types and cultivars, including cooking bananas, plantains and dessert bananas. Cooking banana and plantain provide a staple food for over 400 million people, with great importance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Fusarium wilt of banana (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc)) has widely been considered as one of the most devastating diseases in agricultural history, until resistant banana cultivars replaced susceptible ones in Central America. New outbreaks of the disease in Asia, caused by the highly virulent Foc Tropical race 4 (TR4), have raised concerns that the disease is once again threatening global banana production.
Supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the overall goal of the project is to improve the livelihoods of small-scale banana farmers in Indonesia and the income of banana producers in Australia by improving banana production practices, including the effective management of banana wilts. Best-bet farm management practices and integrated pest management (IPM) strategies are being piloted. Complementary studies to address knowledge gaps in relation to Fusarium wilt, especially TR4, are improving our understanding and ability to manage wilt diseases. Work focuses on Fusarium wilt and banana blood disease (Pseudomonas celebensi), respectively. Foc is devastating smallholder banana farms in Indonesia because of TR4, which overcomes resistance mechanisms demonstrated by Cavendish to other Fusarium races. In Australia Foc race 1 is a serious constraint to the production of Lady Finger, and as a new disease threat to Australian banana producers effective disease management strategies are required in order to avoid major income losses.
Mitigation of the threat posed by these diseases has also been the subject of two recent Bioversity/ACIAR projects,
The project is coordinated by the Bioversity International Commodities for Livelihoods Program (CfLP) regional office for the Asia Pacific and implemented through national partners in Indonesia and Australia. Intended impacts include filling of knowledge gaps, community collaboration within Indonesian and Australian pilot communities, improved banana productivity and the stimulation of further research and development related to banana wilt diseases.
By mid 2010 the project had clarified farmer practice and needs, selected appropriate pilot sites and farmer-participants, and developed:
- A list of potential IPM/ICM technologies and practices identified from previous researches such as technologies on seed systems, agronomic practices, cultivar options and mechanism of deployment
- A list of farmers’ knowledge and practices on IPM/ICM
- A consolidated report detailing the status of current knowledge regarding socio-demographic information, current status of disease management, and production systems in banana communities affected by Foc and BBD
- a hazard analysis tool and best management practice (BMP) guidelines from previous and current knowledge of banana wilt management
- a report detailing strategic research areas to be investigated by the project
- protocols in conducting research on suppressive soils, soil health and use of biological control agents
- ARI - Advanced Research Institute
- Queensland Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (QDPI&F)
- State Department of Horticulture, Indonesia
- NARI - National Agricultural Research Institute
- Indonesian Center for Horticulture Research and Development (ICHORD)
- Indonesian Tropical Fruit Research Institute (ITFRI)
- Gadjah Mada University
Tagsbanana, disease control, fusarium, IPM, Smallholder farmers
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