Cabaré, the Caribbean network specializing in emerging diseases of the banana, publishes its findings

More than seventy-five representatives of Caribbean countries will meet from 24th to 26th June on the invitation of CIRAD Guadeloupe to assess the results of the Interreg Cabaré project on the prevention and control of emerging diseases of banana. Representatives from 15 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Guyana will review the impact of the four-year project and reach a deal on future scientific and technical cooperation.

Researchers and academics, banana producers, representatives from various Caribbean Ministries of Agriculture, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana have all been invited by CIRAD Guadeloupe from 24th to 26th June to assess the results of the Cabaré project. They will initially meet in Raizet on June 24, before going to the CIRAD research centre in Neufchâteau on June 25. The results to be presented relate to the health risks associated with growing new banana hybrids resistant to Sigatoka diseases, as well as cropping techniques aimed at controlling fungal and viral diseases affecting banana production.

The Cabaré project assessed the agronomic performance and resistance to black Sigatoka of four hybrid banana varieties created by the CIRAD in Guadeloupe and INIVIT in Cuba, and the impact of plant production methods on virus severity. For this, 4.4 hectares of experimental plots were set up in Guadeloupe, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

This project, which began in 2011, was funded by the Interreg IV Program and the Prefecture of Guadeloupe, and recruited a network of experts from five agricultural research institutes * in Guadeloupe, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Trials were carried out by these experts, who shared their knowledge of black Sigatoka disease and mosaic disease. The objective was to build on work done by territory professionals on the control and prevention of these emerging banana diseases. They examined how the disease was spread on different scales, the symptoms to look out for in the field as well as laboratory diagnosis methods, and gave advice on growing CIRAD and INIVIT hybrid varieties which are immune to black Sigatoka. One hundred field workers were trained during the project and about twenty scientists have strengthened their skills thanks to visits from scientists from other countries. 150 people, from scientists to banana industry professionals, met in two information-sharing seminars on Sigatoka, in Guadeloupe and Cuba in 2013.

In addition to presenting the results of the project, the meeting in Guadeloupe on 25th and 26th June will feature workshops designed to extend future regional cooperation projects in research and innovation for the production of dessert and cooking bananas destined for Caribbean markets, the regional monitoring of animal and plant diseases and also crop diversification and agroecology. These future projects will build on the achievements and results of Cabaré’s Sustainable Banana and Devag projects.

Emerging diseases of banana

Black Sigatoka and banana mosaic diseases are emerging disease affecting bananas.

Black Sigatoka, a disease affecting banana leaves, is caused by a fungus.(Mycosphaerella fijiensis), which is spread through the air. The disease first appeared in the Caribbean in the 1990s and was identified in Martinique in 2010 and Guadeloupe in 2012. Today it is present in all Caribbean countries.

Banana streak virus (BSV) transmitted by scale bugs. The genome of this virus is also present in the chromosomes of some hybrid varieties of banana. Its activation can cause spontaneous infections, whose frequency and impact are still poorly understood.

* Cirad Guadeloupe,’IDIAF (Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuario y Forestales) in the Dominican Republic, INISAV (Instituto de Investigaciones de Sanidad Vegetal), INIVIT (Instituto de Investigaciones en Viandas Tropicales) and IBP (Instituto de Biotecnología de las Plantas) in Cuba.

More information and programme :

Sophie Della Mussia - - Tél : 06 90 28 09 24

Dernière modification : 23/07/2015

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