Program aims to stop spread of Banana Freckle from NT
ONE of the most significant pest eradication efforts in Australia is entering a new phase after the approval of a plan to rid the nation of one of the world's worst banana diseases, Banana Freckle (Phyllosticta cavendishii).
Approval has been granted for a three-year eradication plan to take place in the Northern Territory and strengthen eradication work which began there a year ago.
The estimated cost of the four-year eradication, including the work already completed, is estimated at about $26 million.
Australian Banana Growers' Council (ABGC) Chairman Doug Phillips said approval of the new eradication plan was a win for the Australian banana industry which faced substantial damage if the disease spread from the NT into major growing regions.
"Banana Freckle is one of the world's worst banana diseases and this new eradication plan is necessary to protect Australia's banana industry and its $600 million annual production," Mr Phillips said.
The ABGC will be providing information on the eradication directly to growers and the issue will also be discussed at upcoming grower meetings.