Bananas at a crossroads

BananEx

Over the past year, my colleagues and I have met with banana producers, importers, retailers, and researchers around the world. A picture is emerging of an industry facing multiple pressures, with important choices to be made to ensure environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

By Dan Bebber

Bananas, the UK’s favourite fruit, appear at first glance to be among our most reliable and resilient fresh produce – they are stocked in every supermarket on every day of the year and their price seldom varies by more than a few pence per kilo. But beneath this apparently smooth and steady supply lies a complex international supply network affected by extreme weather, plant disease, social and political shifts, and the looming threat of climate change. The reliability of banana availability to UK consumers, despite these diverse threats and the fact that only one variety of banana is internationally traded, makes the banana supply…

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PhD in Climate, Disease, and the International Coffee Market

Climate, disease, and the international coffee market: Sustainable Futures – MPhil/PhD (Funded) Ref: 3024 About the award This studentship is offered as part of a call between SWBio DTP (BBSRC) and SWDTP (ESRC) for a competition-funded studentship to commence in September 2018. Location: Streatham Campus, Exeter. Academic Supervisors: Professor Steve McCorriston. University of Exeter Dr … Continue reading PhD in Climate, Disease, and the International Coffee Market

MUSA

MUSA -Microbial Uptakes for Sustainable management of major bananA pests and diseases is a 4-year, €4 million international project funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 initiative. Fungal diseases, nematodes and weevils affect global banana production and therefore food security, causing huge annual losses across banana-producing regions. In regions such as Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) … Continue reading MUSA

Meeting the producers

BananEx

In March 2017 the BananEx team met with banana producer organizations from major exporting nations to the UK, in the port city of Santa Marta, Colombia. We discussed the issues faced by growers in the region, and visited banana plantations to share experiences and ideas. Fusarium wilt, certification costs, and low banana prices were highlighted as major issues by the producers.

The meeting was funded by a Global Challenges Research Fund Impact Accelerator Award, and was hosted by Anuar Escaf, Executive President of the Asociación de Bananeros del Magdalena y La Guajira (ASBAMA).

bananasantamarta The port city of Santa Marta © David Bebber

Participants

  • Dr Dan Bebber, Prof Steve McCorriston, Dr Annalisa Marini & Dr Varun Varma (University of Exeter, UK)
  • Farrah Adam Jiménez (UN FAO World Banana Forum, Rome)
  • Dr Ximena Rueda Fajardo (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)
  • Anuar Escaf, Indhira Reyes & Karen…

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