Banana crops are under siege and it's no laughing matter


Bananas are big business. The worldwide banana industry almost reached $12 billion in 2016.

For some people, bananas aren’t just a snack - but rather a staple of their diet. In the east African highlands, banana consumption can reach as high as 400 pounds per capita.

But banana crops are under siege.

In recent years, a deadly fungus has been decimating banana crops around the world, and a bacterial disease in east Africa is destroying plants in that region.

Climate change could exacerbate the damage. As storms and droughts get more severe, banana plantations could get hit hard. Warmer temperatures can also make the pathogens more virulent.

Scientists, however, are working on solutions. Researches are trying to contain the pests and create new strains of bananas that are resistant to their deadly foes.

Agricultural scientist Charles Staver said, “It’s not completely hopeless.” He said bananas are a resilient fruit, and they aren’t going extinct any time soon.

But the pervasive damage done by climate change is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. 



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