|SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 01 - 1986 (CTA Spore, 1986, 16 p.)|
Pathogens are currently posing serious problems to banana production (sweet bananas, plantains, cooking bananas). Black leaf spot (cercospora), a serious foliage disease, has already badly affected plantain production in Asia, Central America and in certain African countries, such as Gabon. It is also a serious threat to most of the other banana-producing countries like Cameroon, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.
Production is also threatened by other diseases like bunchy top, a virus transmitted by the banana plant louse; Panama disease and moko disease.
For this reason genetic im provement has become one of the main research priorities and has led to a programme by the Institute of Research on Fruits and Citrus Fruits (IRFA-CIRAD) and associated organisations in France, Guadelupe, Martinique, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and Gabon. The principle aim of the scheme is to find varieties resistant to, or more tolerant of, cercospora. To achieve this, a new global network, the international Network for the Improvement of Bananas and Plantains (INIBAP) was set up in November 1984. It is based in Montpellier, France in the offices of CIRAD (Centre de cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement). The mandate of INIBAP is to genetically improve the banana and the plantain.