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Will a Biological Blight Bottom Out the Banana Bunch?


I like to eat bananas occasionally and I like them well enough, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a banana lover.  If you are a banana lover, this news may greatly disturb you.  (It certainly is bad enough to make the monkeys go ape!)  There is currently a blight on bananas in Asia that has now been found in Mozambique (Africa) and Jordan (Middle East), and the concern is that it may reach Latin America.  If that happens, the Cavendish banana that we all can find in our local supermarkets may disappear.

The blight is a fungus that is slowly traversing the world and destroying the Cavendish bananas.  The Cavendish banana is the type of banana whose image immediately pops into your head when you think of a banana.  It’s the kind of banana we all purchase in bunches at the grocery store and it accounts for nearly all of the banana global export trade.  However, there are many other types of bananas that are grown all over the world that are not affected by this fungus.

What happens if this fungus reaches Latin America?  In the short term, it would be a simple case of supply and demand, or in other words, Cavendish prices would skyrocket.  In the long term, the Cavendish banana may be wiped out completely within a couple of years.

You can bet your bottom dollar, though, that companies, such as Dole, one of the world’s largest producers of bananas, is looking for a way to eradicate the fungus.  In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that the fungus doesn’t make it’s way to Latin America.  You may also want to peel yourself some Cavendish bananas and enjoy ’em while you’ve got ’em!

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