Countries urged to step up action against destructive banana diseaseListen /
A destructive banana disease that has spread from Asia to Africa and theMiddle Eastposes a major risk to livelihoods and banana markets, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.
Banana is the 8th most important food crop in the world and the 4th most important among the world's least-developed countries.
Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4 (TR4), also known asPanamadisease, is a fungal disease that lives in the soil and attacks the plant's roots.
FAO says TR4 infects the Cavendish banana varieties, which dominate global trade, as well as other susceptible varieties used for local consumption and markets.
Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, began by explaining to FAO's Sandra Ferrari what causes the disease.