A disease resistant banana variety.
A disease resistant banana variety.
Black Sigatoka, if not treated, can cause 40% losses or more of the production. The costs of fumigation per hectare are US$1800 per year. Banana farms can be as big as several thousand hectares. Small growers can¨t afford that and therefore they depend on banana big companies. On the other hand, Fusarium wilt can not be controlled chemically and renders the whole plantation useless, slowly, leaving the soil not fit for growing bananas for the next 40 years, as fungal spores lie dormant in the soil in wait for new banana plants to kill. Making a banana resistant to fusarium wilt and Black Sigatoka will help millions of banana growers worldwide.
Bananas have a bright future, a future that, as a result of rising global temperatures and the need to feed between 9 and 10 billion people, could displace some of the world´s current top carbohydrate staples. Nowadays bananas are very a important component to many developing economies and millions of people depend on that. By saving the bananas, bananas can help to tackle the global challenge of feeding an ever increasing population, as well as maintaining an important staple, while saving economies that could collapse and cause terrible consequences if the problem is ignored. Moreover, disease resistant varieties will allow small growers to not depend on the big banana companies.
To offer a service; to develop the resistant varieties to interested parties and give them exclusivity; and charge for the service and demand royalty payments per hectare too. Additionally, to also offer the service of plant propagation and charge per plant produced.
As a result of rising global temperatures and the need to feed between 9 and 10 billion people, crops like banana and cassava will displace some of the world´s current top carbohydrate staples. However, bananas are susceptible to a wide spectrum of diseases and there are, in particular, two main diseases threat the existence of the whole banana industry: the Black Sigatoka and fusarium wilt. While Black Sigatoka can be controlled quemically, tho small growers really can¨t afford it, fusarium wilt can not. Thus fusarium wilt is known as the ¨the HIV¨of the bannana¨ and has been decimating entire plantations in Asia and is slowly spreading. It already reached Africa and this causes a lot of concern because bananas are a staple in that continent and thus poor and hungry people would lose their food, now. Moreover, the future will not have bananas to feed people and this does not have to happen. We are working to change that. We are Ecuadoreans and bananas for us is a big deal. Ecuador is the biggest banana exporter in the world and it is the second biggest income to the country after crude oil. It also employs more than 2 million Ecuadoreans. If Fusarium wilt reaches Ecuador, the country would enter a disastrous economical crisis that would affect us all. We have been working with banana farmers for some years and after having enough of hearing all sort of complains and fears from the community, we decided to solve the issue. First we were concerned about the impact the banana problem could cause locally, then we understood the global picture of the problem after we went to the Philippines and saw with our own eyes devastated farms and talked with the desperate banana growers; afterwards we where in Uganda and understood how bananas are important for them as a staple. On the whole, we understood that what were doing was more about helping an industry, it was about people.
We may lose our favorite fruit and poor people may lose their food. Bananas have a bright future, a future that, as a result of rising global temperatures and the need to feed between 9 and 10 billion people, could displace some of the world´s current top carbohydrate staples. Also, bananas are already very important to many economies and millions of people depend on that. Therefore, we think that part of tackling the global challenge of feeding an ever increasing population, is also to maintain people´s food around and improve them through technology and thus feed people. while saving economies that could have catastrophic consequences if the problem is ignored.