Bananas: Conservation

Department for International Development written question – answered on 16th July 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help prevent the extinction of the banana plant.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

DFID is investing in technologies to identify ways to control the spread of banana diseases, including Panama Disease, in Africa and Asia, as part of a global effort to tackle this problem.

DFID is major funder of the international research organisation, the Consultative group on International Agricultural Research (CCIAR), which is currently working to address Panama Disease (TR4) as well as other emerging disease and pest threats in developing countries.

Although the disease cannot currently be eradicated, this research aims to develop effective control measures and to identify banana varieties that are not susceptible to the disease. These are being tested in countries like Mozambique and Myanmar that are already affected by Panama Disease.

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