Prepare to say a sad goodbye to the most popular type of banana – the Cavendish. Scientists are sounding the alarm, warning that this beloved fruit could be on the verge of extinction due to a disease outbreak.
The culprit behind this crisis is a deadly fungal infection known as Panama disease (Fusarium wilt) tropical race 4. It’s a banana disease that starts in the plant’s roots and spreads throughout, ultimately leading to its death.
This issue first emerged in Taiwan in 1989 but has since spread to various countries, including Australia, India, China, the Middle East, and Africa. Even South America recently saw an outbreak.
Nearly half of all bananas humans consume belong to the Cavendish variety, so this crisis could be catastrophic for the global banana market.
Though experts believe they have about a decade before the crisis becomes drastic, they’re actively working on solutions. One approach involves genetically modifying bananas to make them resistant to the disease.