Workshops To Be Held Regarding Banana Growers Panama TR4

Workshops To Be Held Regarding Banana Growers Panama TR4

Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner

Workshops To Get Banana Growers Panama Prepared

Victor P Taffa

Free workshops are being held for banana growers to help them prepare for any future Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) detections.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said growers needed to be ready.

“Although only three commercial banana farms in the Tully Valley have been confirmed with the disease since 2015, we don’t where the disease will strike next.” Minister Furner said.

“If Panama TR4 is detected on a farm, there are biosecurity requirements the grower will immediately need to meet to keep trading.”

“These workshops will offer an opportunity for growers to understand what these requirements are and to hear first-hand how other growers are meeting them.”

“Growers trading with the disease will be at the workshops to share their experiences and the challenges they face.” Minister Furner said.

“Biosecurity Queensland and ABGC staff will also be available to answer questions and offer technical advice.”

For convenience, the workshop in Silkwood will be followed by the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association meeting.

Biosecurity Queensland and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council are holding the workshops in Silkwood and Mareeba on 14 and 15 June.

QLD Minister for Agricultural Industry Development & Fisheries Mark Furner

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Venues And Times

Thursday 14 June

Silkwood Hotel Function Room, Cnr Edward Street and Silkwood Road

6.15 pm for a 6.30 pm start to 7.30 pm.

Workshop will be followed by the Cassowary Coast Banana Growers’ Association meeting from 7.30 pm. Meals can be purchased at the venue on the night.

Friday 15 June

Department of Natural Resources and Mines, John Charles Room on the First Floor at 28 Peters Street.

9.45 am for a 10 am start to 11.30 am

Light refreshments will be served.

 

About Panama TR4

Panama TR4 Program leader Rhiannon Evans said Panama TR4 is a soilborne fungal disease that is easily spread in infected soil, water and plant material. The fungus enters through the roots and starves the plant of water and nutrients.

“Disease is not eradicable and can lie dormant in the soil for decades without host plants.” Ms. Evans said.

“Panama disease has severely affected commercial banana industries, both in the Northern Territory and abroad. Queensland has had the most effective control and containment program for Panama TR4 so far.”

Banana Industry Facts

According to the Queensland Government, Queensland produced more than 95% of Australia’s bananas in 2014-15.

According to the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC)

Economic Contribution

In 2015/16, 690 banana farms (of more than 0.5ha) marketed a record 393,000 tonnes (based on national levy figures). 371,000t plus was marketed in 2014/15, which was also a record year.

The following table shows significant increases in Queensland as the dominant producing State, over the last two decades.

Australian Banana Production (tonnes)

Year                QLD               NSW               WA                 NT                  Total

1995                149,300           49,100             16,200             1,100               215,700

2005                253,000           7,900               3,500               100                  264,500

2015                353,500           16,000             1,000*             500*                371,000

*Cyclone Olwyn destroyed Carnarvon’s production and the Freckle eradication program meant all NT banana plants in the Top End were destroyed.

Abbreviations

QLD                Queensland

NSW               New South Wales

WA                 Western Australia

NT                   Northern Territory

ABGC             Australian Banana Growers’ Council