DAFF seeks to stop spread of Panama Disease

Government was working hard to control the Panama Disease in Mozambique and stop it from spreading to SA’s R1,5 billion banana industry.

The disease, which has been present in plantations in north-eastern Mozambique’s Nampula province for the past two years, is caused by the Fusarium fungus, a soil pathogen which infects the root system before spreading to the whole plant.

“This is a serious disease,” Bomikazi Molapo, spokesperson for agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana, told Farmer’s Weekly. “It is illegal to remove any banana propagation material from areas where Panama Disease occurs to areas where it does not occur.”

SA researchers “are assisting in dealing with the problem in Mozambique,” she said.